How Much Are Fossils Worth?

Last Updated on May 16, 2022

Fossils have great scientific value because they offer us a glimpse into the past. While most fossils may not have a high monetary value, there are still some cases where the value of the fossil might be incredibly high. That is why it is crucial to understand your fossil so that you can determine its value.

If you are thinking about the worth of fossils, you have come to the right place. Here is a complete guide that will help you understand how much fossils are worth.


How Much Are Fossils Worth?

The worth of the fossil will depend on what you have collected. For example, the most expensive fossil ever sold was a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex. The fossil of this dinosaur was sold for almost $32 million.

Stan Sacrison was the one who found this fossil in 1987, and the dinosaur was nicknamed after him. There have been fifty T Rex fossils ever discovered, and Stan is one of them.

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Can You Sell Your Fossils?

You can sell your fossils, but that depends on many factors. For example, in America, fossils that are excavated from the personal property of the collector or with permission from other private properties may be sold freely. On the other hand, the ball game is different for federal land.

If you find fossil bones on federal land in the USA, you can only collect them if you are a researcher with an appropriate permit. Therefore, it is crucial to read the laws and regulations in your country that will help you determine if you can collect the fossils. In most places, if you find them on private property, only then can you buy and sell them.

Is There A Market For Fossils?

In the United States, it is legal to sell and export the fossils that one finds on private land, which is why you might see a market there. However, you might find them online or through connections. However, the American West is highly rich in fossils, and there is a bigger market there.

For example, Colorado, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming are highly rich in fossils. Because of this, you might find a market there that will help you sell your fossil if you have one.

How Do I Identify My Fossil?

It is important to know that what you have collected is a fossil, as many people mistake rocks for fossils. Paleontologists investigate the surface of objects that might be fossils. If the surface is smooth and it does not have any texture, then those are classified as rocks.

On the other hand, even if the object is shaped like a bone, if it does not have the right texture, then it is highly likely to be a rock. So, it is crucial to check the surface of the object and look for texture. A smooth surface with no texture is always a rock.

What Should I Do If I Find A Fossil?

If you find a fossil, you need to take some steps that might help the scientific community understand what you have uncovered. That is because the location is highly important and you must take note of it. Besides that, you must take a picture of the fossil and note down any visible features.

The best thing you can do is use a permanent landmark to locate it on the map and keep it saved with you. If GPS is available where you are, then you can use it too. However, the most important thing you need to do is leave the fossil buried where you found it.

Do Museums Buy Fossils?

There are many museums that indulge in the commercial purchasing of fossils, but not because they want to. These museums purchase these fossils with reluctance because failing to purchase them will mean that there might be a loss to the scientific community. When you put fossils for auction, it gives a feeling that you are ransoming them, as it is under duress.

Of course, this is not the case for all museums. There are some exception museums that purchase these fossils because they want to improve the scientific community and keep important things. However, they will only buy fossils if it is of significant value or helps them with new findings in some way.

That is why it is crucial to know what kind of fossil you have come across. It will help you decide whether you can sell it to anyone or not.

Jackie Palmer is a Houston-based coin journalist and fashion enthusiast. She joined Jewels Advisor’s content team after years of experience as a content strategist, managing blogs and social channels for local stores. Jackie mostly collects and studies US coins produced during the 20th century and over the years, published hundreds of articles for multiple coin publications.