Is This Dinosaur Tooth Real? 4 Ways to Tell the Difference Between Fake and Authentic Fossils

It is no surprise that there is a widespread and pretty lucrative market for fossils. But did you know that it was a Tyrannosaurus fossil that was excavated in 1990 and auctioned for a whopping $7.6 million that set off this fossil frenzy? It has been often referred to as the “modern gold rush.” Expensive fossils began to be treated as status symbols, which inevitably drew in both rich buyers and unethical sellers looking to make a quick buck. And that also led to the emergence of fake and forged fossils. Even today, this is an issue that plagues both fossil collectors and paleontologists. The market is flooded with enhanced fossils, composite fossils, reconstructed fossils, fossil casts, and fossils that are outright fake. Some of these are easy to identify, but some counterfeits can be quite hard to spot. While professionals use a number of techniques including CT scan and synchrotron, if you are a novice, here are some of the ways in which you can differentiate between fake and authentic fossils:

  1. Price


    If you ever see a rare dinosaur fossil being sold for a just a few thousand dollars, chances are it is a fake. When it comes to fossils, you should be wary of unbelievably cheap prices because that usually indicates that either the fossil is a forgery or it has a low commercial value. If you are on a bidding site, it is best to steer clear of items that no one else seems to be bidding on.
  2. Place of origin


    If you think you will come across fossils while mowing your lawn, you are wrong. Real fossils are only ever found in certain rock formations, which can be identified through geological maps. In the US, places like Colorado and Utah have some of the most fossil-rich sites, while countries like China and Mongolia account for a large percentage of fossils discovered abroad. When buying fossils, you should always ask for detailed information about place of origin to help determine if it is real or fake.
  3. Historical accuracy


    You should also do some research to find out how historically accurate a fossil seller’s claim is. If they claim that the Mosasaur teeth for sale is from a particular formation, you should try to find out if that is, in fact, true. What are the characteristics of fossils from that formation? Where can that site be found? Do the features of the fossil match those of other fossils found in that site? These are some of the questions that you need to ask and investigate.
  4. Anatomical accuracy


    You should also look at the fossil itself to check for anatomical accuracy. Quite often, scrupulous sellers put together fossils from different species and pass it off as something hard to find. The best way to identify them is to study the specimen. For instance, whether the tail is connected to the body, if the feet are a little too symmetrical, and so on.

Looking for real dinosaur fossils for sale? Find a reputable seller who has is knowledgeable and has a long and trusted industry track record. At Buried Treasure Fossils, discover a wide range of authentic fossils, including Tyrannosaurus rex and Mosasaur teeth for sale.