Texas

Rocks and specimens from Texas

Petrified Palm

You’ve heard of petrified wood, but have you heard of petrified palm? It’s made from trees of the extinct genus Palmoxylon, which were very similar to palm trees. The process is the same: when the palms died, sometimes they would be covered by water or dirt before they rotted. Then, as groundwater flowed across the ground it carried dissolved silica which would fill the xylem and phloem inside the palm. The result is solid silica in the same shape as the plant. They usually turn out much smoother and more uniform than other types of petrified wood, and petrified palm can be cut, polished, and used as a semiprecious gemstone. It’s mostly found in the Catahoula Formation, Texas, and Louisiana (where it’s the state fossil).

A group of four honey-yellow cabochons shaped like a circle, oval, triangle, and square. They have brown dots and stripes in different patterns, similar to the other petrified palmwood.

Amy O’Connell’s Petrified Palmwood sold at http://lapidaryart.com/amy.html

As you can see, petrified palm’s distinctive round spots make great cabochons.

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Plume Agates

Light red translucent agate with red and orange puffy plumes appearing to float inside it.

From the collection of Don Volkman, photographed by Karl Volkman. http://www.mindat.org/photo-152268.html

Plume agates have fluffy inclusions which often appear to be soft and have depth.  Sometimes, plume agate inclusions resemble feathers, plants, or flowers.  Possible colors include red, orange, yellow, pink, and white.  Plume agates are most commonly found in Oregon’s Graveyard Point, Idaho, Colorado, West Texas, and Mexico.  The agate pictured is from Texas.

Source: The Gemrock, 7/2014
From the collection of Don Volkman, photographed by Karl Volkman. http://www.mindat.org/photo-152268.html