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An unusual petrified driftwood. A gem material from Australia that has nothing to do with “peanuts.”
What is Peanut Wood?
Peanut wood is a variety of petrified wood that is usually dark brown to black in color. It is recognized by its white-to-cream-color markings that are ovoid in shape and about the size of a peanut. It received its name from these peanut-size markings. It is a fossil gem with a very unusual history.
How Does Peanut Wood Form?
Much of the peanut wood being sold today began its life as a conifer tree on land in the area now known as Western Australia. When these trees died, rivers carried them into a shallow, salty epicontinental sea that covered much of what is now the Australian continent.
Soon, peanut wood was being used to make clock faces, spheres, beads, and many other lapidary products. Small leftover pieces from these projects can be loaded into a rock tumbler and used to make tumbled stones. The gem material is very attractive, and its unique appearance immediately grabs attention.
It is surprising that an ancient waterlogged wood that was bored by shipworms is now a popular gem that is cut, worn, displayed, and talked about all over the world.
Length: 68 mm
Width: 24 mm
Weight: 19 grams