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Live from Tucson, Ariz.: Petrified Wood Is a Hit at The Clam Shell

Petrified red oak is a type of petrified wood, and prices per piece start at $150 triple keystone; email glasater@gmail.com for purchase.

Tucson, Ariz. Feb. 7, 2020. When shopping the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) GemFair Tucson, many know to hit up The Clam Shell for unusual finds. From water-included quartz to cloud-shape blue lace agate and more, this Oro Valley, Ariz.–based cutting house and stone dealer is known for funky finds. Yesterday on the fair floor, co-owner Gavin Lasater showed me a threesome of popular petrified wood varieties that are selling well.

The first type is called blue opal native copper. It’s found in Indonesia, sometimes needs to be stabilized with resin prior to resale, and is available in freeform cabochon shapes.

“It is the oddest petrified wood we’ve ever seen because of the geometric patterns in the matrix,” says Lasater. “It also has drusy pockets with high concentrations of silica and little pockets of copper.”

Prices per piece start at $195 triple keystone.

Colla wood is the next type of petrified wood that sold well for The Clam Shell. Colla wood is also found in Indonesia, stabilized with resin (“How much depends on the porosity of the material,” says Lasater), and features azurite, malachite, and chrysocolla in it. “It’s unusual to have all three in one, especially in petrified wood,” he adds. “It comes in these big logs that you slice like bread. It looks delicate on the outside and when you start cutting, the inside is often just brown. We got lucky with all of these colors.”

Prices per pair start at $195 triple keystone.

Finally, petrified red oak from Oregon is another big hit. This material also comes in logs (or chunks) that is slabbed for sale. “You cut thicker slabs for pairs and thinner ones for single pieces,” says Lasater. Some of the material is stabilized.

What’s cool about petrified red oak is its herringbone pattern and colors. “It’s difficult to find red and blue and white, but we have these honeybee-type golden tones and fantastic lines running all the way through,” notes Lasater. Individual pieces start at $150 triple keystone.

Blue opal native copper is a type of petrified wood, and prices per piece start at $195 triple keystone; email glasater@gmail.com for purchase.

Blue opal native copper is a type of petrified wood, and prices per piece start at $195 triple keystone; email glasater@gmail.com for purchase.

Colla wood is a type of petrified wood, and prices per pair start at $195 triple keystone; email glasater@gmail.com for purchase.

Colla wood is a type of petrified wood, and prices per pair start at $195 triple keystone; email glasater@gmail.com for purchase.

Petrified red oak is a type of petrified wood, and prices per piece start at $150 triple keystone; email glasater@gmail.com for purchase.

Petrified red oak is a type of petrified wood, and prices per piece start at $150 triple keystone; email glasater@gmail.com for purchase.

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