What is petrified wood? Fossil processes occur underground when the wood is buried under layers of sediment. Mineral-rich water enters plant cells and while lignin (a substance that makes up wood) and cellulose (a major structural component of green plant cell walls) decompose, they are replaced by rock. Ok, let’s discuss it more!
The process of wood fossil formation
Wood fossils are formed through chemical and physical permineralization through a long and long process. Dead plants can become fossils if they are immediately covered by sediment. Sediment in the form of minerals such as (quartz, silica, iron, and calcite) which are carried by water enters through the walls of wood cells (impregnation). This long process then makes the wooden structure hard like stone.
Fossilization of plants occurs due to heaps of sand and lava that come out of volcanic eruptions, major floods, or landslides. All materials will be buried and do not get oxygen intake so that there is no weathering and organisms or micro-organisms (fungi and bacteria).
Because the stockpiling material contains metal or inorganic materials (metal and mineral salts), during stockpiling there is an intrusion into the wood material, and a long-lasting ion exchange occurs so that the metal mineral rock particles settle and replace the arrangement of carbon atoms (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (0) and nitrogen (N). In a long time, the wooden structure will be formed by mineral rock materials so that they become wood fossils or are preserved.
Then, when erosion occurs again, these fossils can then be exposed and found on the surface. that’s the process of the formation of wood fossils.
The potential of fossil wood for furniture
When the wood fossil is lifted from a depth of for example 3-5 meters below the ground surface, it looks like a large lump of wood, resembling a blackish brownstone. There is also a shape that is still intact like the body of a tree trunk.
For craftsmen, what is petrified wood? Well, for them, the outer shape of this piece of fossil wood is like a shell. Meanwhile, it is the inside that can be processed into display items of high aesthetic value. The inside part of the fossil is often called ice agate. This ice agate is pinkish white and solid. Even though it is solid, when a flashlight shines on it, the light will penetrate the walls of the ice agate.
To reach the ice agate stage, of course, it will take a long time and can even reach three to four months of work. The reason is, that care must be taken in the process of grinding and sanding the rough outer skin scales of the wood fossil. There is also a possibility that during the process, the ice agate inside may even be broken or cracked.
There is also the so-called semi-ice agate. That means the stages of refining fossils are not up to the maximum limit or semi-finished. Of course, the price is cheaper than ice agate. Those that are still rough and contain little silicates or minerals can be shaped into animals, furniture, hangers, ashtrays, statues, and other shapes. If clear or ice agate, the price is very expensive.
Now, you know what is petrified wood and how much value you can read in this article. Only wood fossils millions of years old are capable of producing ice agate. However, areas of potential for producing wood fossils like this are rarely found. To distinguish artificial agate ice, the way is easy. Usually, imitation goods are made of special plastic or low silicate. When held, the original will feel cold or hot because the minerals in it adjust the temperature in the surrounding environment.