Vintage Petrified Wood, Picture Jasper and Fossilized Agate Bracelets

Some vintage Native American jewelry features beautiful “stones” that almost seem to show a scene or tell a story. Such stones could be Petrified Wood, Picture Jasper, or Agate.

(In all these photos, please ignore the reflection from the lights – although these bracelets are over 50-60 years old, the stones are as bright and shiny as the day they were made and really reflect the light.)

Petrified wood is result of fossilization, the transformation of wood into agate through the process of absorption of the minerals into the cells of the wood. The resulting agate can be harder than steel.

Petrified wood can contain a wide variety of materials and minerals but most commonly agate, jasper and opalized wood.

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The colors that appear depend on what minerals are present. Iron oxides show reds and browns while manganese results in pink.



Copper, cobalt, and chromium will exhibit as greens and blues. Carbon is black and silica is white or gray.


Picture Jasper is similarly formed when quartz-rich mud is fossilized.
With all those colors from unique layers of various minerals, the specific chemical environment (pH, moisture, temperature etc.) surrounding the wood or mud along with the factor of time, some beautiful scenes and symbols can appear in petrified wood, picture jasper and agate.



7 thoughts on “Vintage Petrified Wood, Picture Jasper and Fossilized Agate Bracelets

  1. Pingback: Petrified Wood, Picture Jasper or Agate? | Native American Jewelry Tips

  2. I love these pieces, like wearing history around your neck. Even saw some polished dinosaur dung somewhere as a pendant that was quite beautiful, although I think I’ll stick with petrified woods. Someone told me fossilized dinosaur bone is becoming scarce because people are snatching it up for whatever purposes. Very interesting to read about the source of the different colors. I don’t know too much about geological formations. Having any hope of identifying types of turquoise seems to required studying up on chert matrix,variscite, etc. etc. Thanks for the info.

  3. I inherited some unique jewelry (cuff bracelet and ring) that I believe is Vintage American Indian Jewelry (maybe 1920-30) and the stones are not like any I have seen online anywhere. I am curious as to what the stone in this set is. Am guessing petrified wood or picture jasper.

  4. Pingback: Southwest Native American Rings | Native American Jewelry Tips

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