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Hofling
Dear members,

just joined the Forum and very new to fossil hunting. I have basic questions and although I have read many posts, these seem to be unanswered for me!

I went for my first fossil hunting trip few weeks ago with my daughter and wife and found many fossils, unfortunately due to my inexperienced, damaged many of them.
Let's go to the questions!

1) I have found one pyrite ammonite , and I am not sure how to start with. It was lying near the cliffs, so was not soaked in water. I have read here in your posts that the treatment differs depending on the composition of the ammonite. But I don't know this specimen's composition. I haven't even put in water - could anyone tell me, by looking at the picture, if we can guess the composition and how should I do the first preparation (water? Acetic acid?)?

IMG_7286.jpg  IMG_7287.jpg 

2) These ammonites are very fragile and are on a type of gray clay base (matrix). The same questions apply: do I have to remove first with mechanical means, r can I soak it in water (or other liquid) to soften the clay and then remove it? I worry that this might dissolve the ammonite... (sorry about the background of the pictures, I was sending this to my brother).

IMG_7275.jpg  IMG_7276.jpg 

3) There are two small ammonites here - this clay is a little bit harder. And maybe the ammonites are a different composition? Water? Dip them completely or just get them wet? Only mechanical?

IMG_7280.jpg 
4) The one bellow is almost clean. I don't have air tools to clean them. Can I use any liquid? I cleaned up to now with a dentist's pick.

IMG_7277.jpg 

5) 6) this are in a harder matrix and I am sure I will need power tools (those "air pens" described here elsewhere).
IMG_7279.jpg 
7) Finally this is in a brown coloured base and the fossil itself seems to be made of the same material. This one I am quite sure I cannot use any liquid...or am I wrong?

IMG_7278.jpg 


So the baseline is: in this types of fossils, especially the most delicate ones, to remove "the dust" and remaining clay, can I get it wet? If so, to soak, or just brush it, to remove? 
Thank you for your help and sorry about the long post!

The next questions would be how to preserve them..... (paraloid?)

Thank you once Again,

Christian.
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prep01
Hello Christian and welcome to the forum. I will have to generaliize, ot!herwise I would be here all day! All rock (fossil / matrix) should be desalinated if found near the sea. This should be done as soon as possible before it starts to dry out. At the moment there are no guidelines as to timescale - the more porous the rock, the longer it will take. I am soon to start some research on this subject.
Your first ammonite looks as if it has quite a bit of Pyrite which will be very hard to remove - when desalinated if it is soft enough, the matrix can be removed using hand tools (scalpel, dental pick, tooothbrush, etc). For harder rock (mudstone, shale etc) think about an electric engraver, but prepping is a minefield - lots of time and experience! They won't need anything else done to them normally so long as you keep them in a dry place and room temperature.
Colin Huller
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prep01
Christian - many articles like this.....
https://english.fossiel.net/information/article.php?id=81&/Conserving
Colin Huller
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Hofling
Hi Colin,

many thanks for your reply!

None of those fossils were found directly in contact with salt water, but they were rather beside the cliffs. Should I desalinate them even so?
Because most of them, like I said, are in a clay matrix that will become "muddy" when I put in water. Should I do that? I know that this is very basic, but this is one of my main question: can I just put them directly immersed in water? 

About the pyrite ammonite: the ammonyte itself is from the same material (pyrite) as the matrix around it. Should I desalinate it in water also?

Sorry if I seem repetitive. As I am a first timer, I want to make sure I don't spoil my specimens right away. My daughter (and I!) would be very frustrated. 

Many thanks again!

Soon I will post one of my lucky findings, a "giant" ammonite, it surface is shiny, and I will ask the species and how to preserve it.

Christian.
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prep01
Yes, yes, yes! You don't need to keep fossils in a clay matrix, so soaking will help to remove it! Remember to use a soft tooth brush
Colin Huller
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Hofling
Hi Colin!
Thanks for the reassurance! Hahahaha.

Many useful information.

Have a nice week everyone!

Christian.
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prep01
Hi Christian - experience, experience, experience!
Colin Huller
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