A Nice Gault Clay Ammonite


Architeuthoceras said:
What kind of crystals are they, and will they be left on the fossil or cleaned off?

Robert has just informed me that the crystals are calcite and the ammonite appears to be (famous last words) fairly stable. I'd imagine they will be left on.

pocketmoon said:
A quick Q, many of the fragments from Folkestone have this wonderful pink patina. What's the best way to protect this ?

The patina is the original mother-of-pearl coating and you can still find it on some of the ammonites and bivalves. What I tend to do is soak the fossils in water for a few days to remove the salts, leave them to fully dry and then coat them in a thin layer of varnish (I tend to use Satin Humbrol modelling varnish). Maybe this is not the best approach but has certainly worked for me, though if anyone has a better method I'd like to hear from you.

The fossils preserved in the black phosphate will be OK to be left untreated, but any preserved in pyrites will decay to a form of 'rocky fluff' within a couple of years. I've learned this to my cost!


Phil said:
The fossils preserved in the black phosphate will be OK to be left untreated

Would this be black phosphate (propped against a coaster) ?


I'm using 1 part PVA to 4 parts water for the others so I'll keep a close eye on them over the coming months.
Yep, thats the stuff Pocketmoon. I've heard other people use mixtures of PVA and water before. If it works, please let me know and I'll try it myself.

By the way, if any readers were wondering what that strange-upturned pot drum-shaped building is in the photo Pocketmoon posted above is, it's a Martello Tower. This is just one of a chain of 75 or so towers that were erected all along the SE coast of Britain during the Napoleonic Wars, I think about 1810ish. They had a canon located on a pivot on top to watch over the coast and a small detachment of soldiers stationed inside. As you can see the entrance is high up in the wall and would have been accessed with a rope ladder, this made it easier to defend should the French army come knocking!
hi guys only me, sorry I'm late & nice finds BTW.
3rd photo shows how quickly Gault fossils shrink in the wind !! :biggrin2:

Poor Rob, another lamb to the slaughter & welcome & if you want a good book on your new obsession try Ammonites by Neal Monks :notworth: jsut finished reading my copy - top read !

Here's another rather nice specimen of the Albian ammonite Hoplites spathi. This example was found by my Visigoth-like sister a year or so ago in Folkestone and unfortunately broke into two pieces as she brutally manhandled it from a clay outcrop.

It is a rather nice specimen that could do with with a good clean and drill to remove the rocky matrix encrusted in the centre. I do not have the appropriate tools to do this so any volunteers are most welcome!

Here's three pictures, the first myself holding it together, and the second with a plastic model of Mr Burns to provide scale!


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Mr. Phil, that's one good lookin' Hoplites you've got there, did your sis have Weetabix for brekky ?

isn't Hoplites one of the super species found globally ?

nice, clean breaks hold together using good quality PVA (sparingly) & it dries clear :thumbsup:

AndyS is a time served prepper, I sadly am still but a novice but if you insist I could pick it up on my visit to Blighty next week though I cannot guarantee it's safe return as I may end up loving, hugging & calling it George ! :heart:

try having a go with a Draper tools carbide tipped rock etcher (£3), they're the biz, UKGE do 'em if you can't find one locally, best £3 I ever spent except for the Norfolk Sweet at Banham Cider House :roll:
(Santa brought me a new air chisel courtesy of KM, I'm soooooooooo spoilt :lol: )
Pictures restored.

(Well, we couldn't let Mr Burns go to waste!)
A new bok is available on the Gault Clay ammonites of SE England if anyone is interested. I have just obtained a copy and it's quite stunning, containing many photographs in full colour. The book is, I believe, a limited one-run only publication by the author.

There is very little discussion of ammonite biology and it is really only of practical use in identifying finds. It seems to consist of a hard copy print of the gaultammonite website with little new material.

Still, completists may be interested:

new book
I wish I had even the opportunity to find such fossils! I'm trying hard to convince my parents to take me to Lyme Regis, but so far, no success :sad:
I do have an Eocene garden, but unfortunately that is my least favourite era and most worthwhile fossils are probably deep underground (plus I'm not allowed to dig the garden up).

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