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.
known as Collenia undosa, the microorganisms involved were
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.
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
buff, anyone who appreciates art would also be glad to get thus
wonderful specimen of the Earth's oldest fossils as a gift
slab of stromatolite was cut and polished perpendicular to
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
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
life on earth in terms both in numbers of organisms and overall
biomass. We humans and all other eukaryotes with nuclear DNA
plants, fungi) are guests (and often food) in a prokaryotic
-- nature assures nothing is wasted.