If you have any questions feel free to contact us via the contact form or call us at our customer support number (866) 550-2013
If you ever find that our representation with regards to authenticity or restoration is inaccurate the specimen can be be returned for a full refund at any time. This is in addition to our 14 day return policy, in which we allow returns on items for any reason.
We don't send physical certificates with our orders by default. It takes time to create them and most people throw them out anyways. If you want a physical Certificate of Authenticity with your order make note of it in the shipping instructions and we will create one for you and send it with your order. Please note that for purchases of our bulk fossils we can only provide a single certificate, not one for each fossil because of costs.
The reality of collecting fossils is that the vast majority come out of the ground in multiple pieces and need to be repaired. With many types of fossils, specimens that don’t require any repair are the very rare exception. For example most 3D trilobites are found in cross section and need to be glued back together. Almost all dinosaur material needs to be stabilized and glued back together.
When done correctly repair is nearly impossible to identify either under microscope and only enhances the value of a specimen. It’s the sign of a great fossil preparator to be able to piece together a spectacular specimen that may have come out of the ground as a jigsaw puzzle.
Restoration is very different from repair. It refers to reconstructing part of a fossil that was missing or damaged as opposed to just gluing pieces back together. This may range from restoring a tiny flake of missing shell on a crack, fixing an air scribe ding in the shell, to adding spines to a trilobite that were missing. If you go to a museum almost all the specimens they will have on display have been restored. Restoration, when done well, adds to the aesthetic nature of the fossil.
Like repair with some types of fossils and locations, most specimens have some degree of restoration. The shell on large trilobites tends to crack due to expansion and contraction of the rock and some flakes may not be recoverable. Nearly all Russian trilobites have restoration. For a collector restoring a missing piece of shell is much preferable to having an ugly hole in the shell.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of fossil dealers (particular online dealers) are not honest about the degree of restoration on the fossils they sell. Too often they sell specimens with high amounts of restoration without telling buyers about it. As a long time trilobite collector this has personally frustrated me. A perfect specimen with no restoration is much more valuable than a specimen with restoration as it’s significantly more rare.
FossilEra’s policy is to tell you up front about any restoration that has been done in the item description. We don’t just rely on what we’ve been told by suppliers but go over specimens under microscope, with black lights and even using solvents to verify any areas of restoration.
Remounting and compositing refers to taking a specimen for example a trilobite and attaching to a piece of matrix on which it did not originally reside. Sometimes this is done to make a fossil more displayable or stabilize it. Like restoration it is sometimes done by unscrupulous dealers to attempt to create a “perfect” fossil out of pieces of many different fossils. Like restoration we will make note upfront of any remounting or compositing that may have occurred in the product description.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask a question and we will provide you additional details.