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Jurassic Ben

What is the best varnish to use on pyrite ammonites ? 

thank you in advance 

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Hi Ben - there isn't a 100% effective solution to this problem I'm afraid. Not all Pyrite fossils will be effected by Pyrite decay - it depends on how the Pyrite formed.
  • Soak and desalinate then airdry in a warm dry atmosphere.
  • Store each individual specimen in an airtight container with a packet of Silica Gel in a warm dry room.
This should be enough, but keep looking for signs of decay - white / yellowish powdery spots. If you see anything, soak and dry then you need to tackle the problem!
There are better methods than 'coating' the fossil, which will make them shiny and may not be reversable for future research (in 20 years, someone might look at your specimen and think it's 'special' and want to research it but will want to remove the coating). The only really reversable coating is ParaloidB72, but if you are not worried about this, then use what suits you best - some people experiment (hairspays, laquer, wax.......the list is endless!
The best method is probably the Ammonia process which converts the by product to a stable compound but it is a laboratory only job!!!!!

This is a still strongly debated, complex subject A good site to look at is Sheppey fossils / Gault ammonite site, but I don't have the links to hand.
Colin Huller
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Jurassic Ben
Thank you Collin for your advice I will need to have a think. I’m soaking them in water and will air dry them near a radiator I’m guessing and then decide what to do.
thank you 
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