Fossil Shark's Teeth


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My Philosophy on Collecting Fossil Shark’s Teeth


My philosophy is simple; only collect the best preserved fossil shark’s teeth available, regardless of size (this may be the only time size really doesn't matter).  These teeth are typically described as Gem, Pristine, Grade AAA, Museum Quality, Collector Grade, High End, etc..  It seems that everyone who collects or sells shark’s teeth has their own descriptor for this quality of teeth.  And, since I am a collector, I feel obligated to create a term also.  I call them “Almost Perfect”.  Since, I realize there is no such thing as a "Perfect" fossil shark’s tooth, I buy the ones that are as close as I can get; hence the term “Almost Perfect”. 


My Definition of “Almost Perfect”:



No Restoration or Repair of Any Kind

This includes glue, enamel coatings, paint, or even professional repair.  I do not purchase teeth that have been restored or repaired in any way.


Solid Root

A solid root (definition) is extremely important to the appearance and quality of a tooth.  I strive to collect teeth with no chips, missing sections, or major cracks in the root.  Small expansions cracks are ok, and almost unavoidable.  A root with minimal, to no cracking, especially one with nicely preserved nutrient holes (definition) drastically changes the beauty and value of a tooth.


Bourlette (Bourrelet, Burlette, Burlet) (Display/Lingual Side)

The bourlette on the display/lingual side (definition) is one of the most important attributes to look for.  A quality bourlette significantly changes the value and the appeal of a tooth.  My goal is have the bourlette be at least 95% present.


Bourlette (Flat/Labial Side)

Most collectors never look for the bourlette on the flat/labial side (definition) of the tooth, and some don’t even know that it exists.  A well preserved bourlette on the flat side is very rare and makes the tooth highly sought after.  To me the presence of this increases the value of a tooth.


Most Serrations Present

Serrations (definition) are extremely important to the quality, and really define the overall preservation of the tooth.  I strive to get a tooth that only has a few missing serrations at most, but try to get teeth that have none missing at all.  Large, sharp serrations make the tooth more desirable as well.  


Tip Intact

The tip (definition) is the most important serration to be present.  The presence of a well preserved tip is extremely important, and makes the tooth have a much higher value.


High Quality Enamel

The enamel (definition) should be glossy with minimal hydration cracking (definition).  There should also be limited enamel peel on both the labial and lingual sides.  Enamel with a unique color or a mottled (definition) set of colors can greatly increase the beauty and overall value of a tooth.





Every collector has specific attributes about a tooth that make it more appealing to them personally, and therefore things they seek out when buying teeth.   And, I am no different.  I personally look for a few unique attributes, besides quality, that make a tooth more desirable to me.


They are:


Unique Coloring


Pyrite Inclusions (definition) in the bourlette and adhered to the root


Unique, well preserved, pathology (definition)


None of these unique features preclude the basic premise of quality first, but if I can find an “Almost Perfect” tooth with one, or more, of these unique attributes, it makes the tooth all that more special.


I have adopted this collecting philosophy over time, and my criteria has gotten stricter as my collection has grown.  So you will notice that the higher numbered teeth (the ones purchased most recently) are higher quality than the lower numbered teeth (the ones purchase in the beginning).  This philosophy obviously restricts the number of teeth one can buy, as there just aren’t that many “Almost Perfect” teeth out there.  But, I would rather have fewer “Almost Perfect” teeth, than more, lower quality teeth.


Another goal I have tried to achieve is to collect teeth from different geographies around the globe.  So far most of my collection is from the various locations within the US, but a few are from places like Chile and Peru.  But, as the collection grows, hopefully so will the number of locations I have collected teeth from. 


Please enjoy viewing my fossil shark’s teeth collection and let me know if you have any questions.  I welcome any comments.





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