Tag: fossils

Fossil Oyster

Beauty Etched in Stone

Pearls have ALWAYS been classic, and now we have proof that even dinosaurs thought they were the ultimate accessory! Well, maybe not, but we can dream, right?

Check out these awesome FOSSIL PEARLS!

The oldest fossil pearls known to man date all the way back 230-210 million years ago! Always rare, fossil pearls are almost always associated with marine bivalves (oysters). During a pearl’s fossilization, aragonite (the mineral that makes up most of the pearl) is replaced by calcite or some other different mineral, but in cross-section the fossils show the same concentric layering seen in modern pearls (American Museum of Natural History).

In Vienna, Austria a fossil pearl found is said to date back 16.5 million years and is from the Komeunurg Basin near Vienna. It was formed during the Miocene age within the giant mussel Perna Aquitania. Its growth was activated by the drilling action on a Gastrochaena bivalve which penentrated the mussel-shell. Research shows that the paleo-enviroment 16.5 million years ago, was a tropical estuary with swamp forests

What would you do with a pearl the size of a golf ball?! Experts at the Blue Reef Aquarium believe that a massive mollusk fossil that was recently found in the Solent, a strait separating mainland England from the Isle of Wight might go back 100 million years, is 10 times the size of your average oyster and could possibly be a concealing a pearl!

Fossil Pearls

A cross section of the larger pearl showing the concentric layers.

Fossil Pearl Layers

Three ‘pearls’ attached to fragments of Inoceramid shells. The fourth pearl in the lower right was unattached and is a badly formed hemispherical pearl.

Fossil Pearls


Now that we know it’s possible, we wonder if this fine specimen, discovered by Marty Stradley, owner of Pearls International, in a potato field in Idaho many years ago, might also contain a fossil pearl!

Fossil Oyster

Thanks to www.oceansofkansas.com for their great photos!