Gem Proterozoic Collenia Stromatolites from Mary Ellen Mine

Stromatolites Collenia undosa

Also called Mary Ellen Jasper - an opaque agate

Polished on all sides

Geological Time: Precambrian - Lower Proterozoic (2.2 to 2.4 billion years old)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fossil is 117 mm across widest diagonal

Fossil Site: Biwabik Formation, Mary Ellen Mine, Mesabi Range, St. Louis County, Minnesota

Code: DS1105

Price: Sold

Proterozoic Collenia StromatolitesStromatolites from the Mary Ellen Mine in Minnesota, commonly known as Mary Ellen Jasper, are prized by jewelry-makers owing to the often stunning color displays. This one has had BOTH sides and all edges polished to make a stunning display from any aspect, and exhibits vivid a black and dark grey tints, Collenia branching growths of red, and interstitially dispersed clear quartz, an unusual color combination for the site.

Scientifically known as Collenia undosa, the microorganisms involved were likely to have been photosynthetic bacteria that were busily expiring oxygen during deep geological time that would ultimately constitute the modern atmosphere on earth (of the Proterozoic Era) when the Earth rusted. Gorgeous jewelry pieces could be made from this one.

Stromatolites have persisted to the modern day in such places as Shark Bay, Australia where they continue their billions of year's old lifestyle. While this piece would make a fine present for any natural history buff, anyone who appreciates art would also be glad to get thus wonderful specimen of the Earth's oldest fossils as a gift

This slab of stromatolite was cut and polished perpendicular to the individual finger-like colonies. The stromatolites are preserved in agate and both sides of the slice have been polished to a mirror finish. Note the detail of the laminae in each small digitate colony. The age of this stromatolite is estimatesd to be 2.2 to 2.4 billion years old, from a time in the Precambrian when stromatolite was both unbiquitous and abundant on earth. Even today, we should remember that prokaryotes are the most abundant life on earth in terms both in numbers of organisms and overall biomass. We humans and all other eukaryotes with nuclear DNA (animals, plants, fungi) are guests (and often food) in a prokaryotic world -- nature assures nothing is wasted.

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Proterozoic Collenia Stromatolites

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