News / fossils


    Burmese Amber with Insect inclusions
    Amber is fascinating, it is both a fossil and a gem. Amber is a fossilised tree resin that is a time capsule of the past, often containing flora and fauna from ancient times. To be true Amber the fossilised resin has to be more than 20 million years old, fossil resins that are younger are called copal, copal is brittle and will crack and craze over time, although pretty it is too soft to be set in jewellery. Over the past ten years The Rare and Beautiful have been fortunate enough to have put together an amazing collection of Burmese Amber containing both insect and plant material.
    Shell Inclusions in Amber
    It's not easy to source top quality Burmese Amber, we have built friendships with miners and cutters during our past 12 visits to this magical country and they supply us with the best material available. This amazing Amber is from Katchin state in the north of the country commonly called Burmite it is Cretaceous in age, 100million years old, from the time of the dinosaurs, it is the hardest of all Ambers making it especially suitable for jewellery. Burmite comes in a variety of colours from almost clear through yellow, orange, red, brown and an opaque variety called wood Amber. This special Gem has been prized by Chinese craftsmen for around 2000 years.
    Caterpillar in Amber
    A huge variety of rare inclusions are found in Burmese Amber, including all sorts of insects, shells , lizards, feathers from ancient birds and dinosaurs, flowers , ferns ,leaves and other plant material. Evolutionary history is being re written due to these remarkable finds in Amber. On our recent trip to Burma we were lucky enough to buy several large packages of Amber and when we return from Asia we will be loading some wonderful material for sale on our web site as well as offering it for sale at our Salamanca market stall and at the gem and antique fairs we attend .To compliment our range of Burmese Amber we have also have Amber from Sumatra and Borneo for sale. This Amber is Miocene in age 20-30 million years and much of it is a wonderful red colour. Although not as hard as Burmite it is still easily hard enough to be worn in jewellery. We acquired some exceptionally large pieces, some over a kilo in weight. After many years of cutting gemstones, making jewellery and doing gemmological studies I've found Burmese amber to be one of the most fascinating materials I've come across. The Rare and Beautiful will continue to collect this amazing Burmese Amber on our regular trips to Burma. If your interested in something special, a lizard, a dinosaur feather or a shell in Amber drop us a line and we can find it for you.
    Spider inclusions in Amber 
    Sent from my iPad
  • We are at Salamanca Market

    The Rare and Beautiful has had a site at Salamanca Market for the last 8 years .Salamanca is Tasmania's No 1 tourist attraction. Our stall has a great range of objects of desire : from retro antiques, hand made jewellery, gems, minerals, and meteorites to tribal jewellery , antique textiles, whale bone carvings and objects of natural history. We have something for everyone with a discerning eye, or for the lover of the unusual. If your in Hobart why not come down and see us. We're at stall number 180 which is around half way down the market on the water side.

  • Digging for Tasmanian Fossil Fern

    Mosquitoes, midges, flies,funnel web spiders, leeches,wasps and tiger snakes. Just a part of the experience of searching for the elusive Lune river fossil plants. The prize awaits up to 6 foot down, through tough wet sticky clay, in a thin gravel layer of agates and fossils.

    Fern is hard to find, but to find a good piece is much harder, many pieces have holes throughout or are totally black.

    Easy NO rewarding YES.

    The most beautiful plant fossils replaced by multi coloured agate are the reward, if you are lucky, but hard work does pay off !

    These fossil tree ferns are from Lune River about 120kms south of Hobart, it is Australia's most southerly gem field. 165 million years ago the vegetation was flatterned by a pyroclastic flow from a nearby volcano, volcanic ash covered these plants. Then a 1km thick basalt and dolerite flow covered the plants, silica then replaced the carbon in the plant. 

    Perfectly preserved stems of wood, fern and cycad resulted. These fossils are amazing in their beauty and in their scientific preservation. 

    More than 13 species of tree fern, several cycads and different woods are found in this Jurassic graveyard. Dinosaur food!

    Treasured in any rock hounds collection. The images are some pieces that The Rare and Beautiful have found. we  have some for sale in the fossil category.



    This beautiful specimen is osmundacaulis prushnikkii. The preservation is amazing with the structure of individual cells easily visible under magnification. Highly agatized with pyrite surrounding the "eyes" in the black section. Locally known as peacock fern due to its resemblance to a peacock tail.



    This is a trunk section of osmundacaulis griggsii as it was found by The Rare and Beautiful.This specimen is too beautiful to cut and polish, and displays perfectly as is.





     Bennettatalian cycadophyte stem perfectly preserved.

    Stem section of lunea Jonesii totally replaced by agate, a fossil and a gemstone in one specimen,very rare and highly desirable.Probably only one piece in a thousand is completely replaced by agate, the holy grail for fern diggers.

Success! Feel free to continue shopping or head to your cart .