Beautiful golden semi precious gemstone Petrified Palm Wood, Palmoxylon, from Louisiana. These designer cabochons have tan and black areas and a great polka dot pattern! Some of the cabochons seem to have moonscapes or sceneries.
This gem material is the Oligocene-age "petrified wood" that is found in the Catahoula Formation, a sedimentary rock unit that was deposited on the alluvial plains and in the coastal swamps of the Oligocene Gulf Coast. At that time, the coastline was about 100 miles farther inland than it is today.
Petrified Palm Wood is not a true wood as it was a plant that looked similar to a modern palm tree with a trunk made up of parenchyma, a fibrous support material that surrounded hollow tubes of the plant's vascular structure. These tubes transported water, nutrients, wastes, and other materials through the plant.
When the palm died, it was quickly covered by water and sediments. Ground water flowing through the sediments carried dissolved silica. The silica replaced the fibrous parenchyma and tubes. This infilling and replacement of the plant structures with solid silica produced the fossil known as Petrified Palm.
When a gemstone cabochon is cut perpendicular to the palm trunk, the tubes of the vascular structure often display as an array of "dots."
Petrified Palm Wood is actually a psuedomorph-chalcedony replacing the original plant. Therefore Petrified Palm Wood is a member of the chalcedony family with a hardness of 6.5 to 7. Petrified Palm Wood cabochons take a great polish and wear well.
Petrified Palm Wood is the Louisiana state fossil.
Metaphysical Properties of Petrified Palm ood: Petrified Wood is called the stone of patience.