Petrified Wood is a fossil that forms when organic plant material is buried by wet sediment, and as the sediment has a high water content, the lack of oxygen means that the normal decomposition process does not happen. Instead, the water, rich in silica and other dissolved minerals, slowly replaces the organic matter with Quartz, Calcite, Opal or sometimes Pyrite. Most of the specimens on the market start at 66 million years old, and goes back hundreds of millions of years before that, predating the first dinosaurs by over 100 million years!
This is why the exact appearance of a piece of wood can be preserved, right down to the detail of the bark, but the entire piece is replaced and turned to stone (hence the name - petrified from the Greek ‘petros’ for stone or rock), and before picking it up the appearance can be deceptive! This fossilisation process can happen with other organic materials too - there have been Opalised Belmnite Squids, shells, dinosaur bones and pinecones found in Australia!
The different colours in Petrified Wood bear no resemblance to the original colour of the wood, but instead the different elements that were present when it was ‘petrifying’ - some of these can include Copper that produces blue and greens, Iron creates all shades from yellow through orange, red and brown, Carbon creates black, and Manganese gives us pink tones.
Petrified Wood can be found in many locations throughout the world, but one of the most famous is the Petrified Forest in Arizona, USA. It was designated a National Monument in 1906, and since then it has become illegal to remove the gemstone from the park. Those who do have reported years of bad luck, and it has come to be known as the Curse of The Petrified Forest - there is even a museum dedicated to the poor folks who have fallen claim to the curse. The Park regularly gets stolen pieces posted back to them after their lives seemingly took a turn for the worse after their petty theft!
Not all Petrified Wood comes from the same type of tree, as it can be found all over the world and the species of tree will change with that. The famous Arizona Petrified Forest is mostly comprised of an extinct species of Conifer Tree, whereas much of the Madagascar Petrified Wood we see is from an ancient relative of the Monkeypuzzle Tree.
Petrified Wood Metaphysical Properties include:
- A strong grounding crystal
- Calming and soothing energy
- Good for meditation
- Gives you stability
Find our Petrified Wood collection here.