Australian Banded Iron Stromatolite - Tiger Iron

Banded Iron Stromatolites

Geologic Time: Paleoproterozoic to Archaean (2.4 to 2.6 Billion Years Old)

Size: 7.5 by 5.9 inches

Fossil Site: Hammersly Ranges, Western Australia

Australian Banded Iron Stromatolite - Tiger IronThis polished section of what the locals in Australia call "Tiger Iron". Known as Jasperlite, it is a banded structure of Tiger Eye, Red Jasper, and Hematite. The prevailing theory is that this Tiger Iron is rather mundane stromatolite that has undergone mineral replacement, particularly with iron oxide about the time that cyanobacteria had begun oxygenating earth's oceans. Another theory is that microbes formed the banded iron directly as with any stromatolite.

Tiger iron from Australia is very beautiful, and highly valued for the production of jewelry. This hand-polished specimen is as much a gem as it is a fossil. The golden-colored seams are irpn pyrite.

Also see: Stromatolites Across Geologic Time

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