FossilEra FAQ

Who is FossilEra?

FossilEra is the largest online retailer of authentic fossil and mineral specimens in the world.
We are dedicated to providing high quality fossil specimens to a wide range of individuals. From the passionate to those just looking for a unique gift. We strive to provide a diverse catalog of high quality material at great prices.

Are your fossils real?

Yes, FossilEra only sells real fossils. We guarantee that all the fossils that we list and sell are original and as described. You can read more about our Authenticity Guarantee and disclosures on restoration here.

Do you have a physical location or storefront?

No, we are an entirely online business. This allows us to keep our overhead and costs down.

What comes with the fossils when they are purchased?

All fossils come with an identification card including information such as species, age, location and formation. These identification cards also have a unique web url back to the specimen permanently archived on FossilEra, so that any additional information and photos can be referenced later. Many specimens come inside of high quality black gift boxes. Any specimen pictured with a display stand comes with the pictured stand.

Do your orders come with a physical Certificate of Authenticity?

We don't send physical certificates with our orders by default. It takes time to create them and most people throw them out anyway. If you want a physical Certificate of Authenticity with your order make note of it in the shipping instructions and we will create one for you and sent it with your order.

Were your fossils legally collected?

Yes, the fossils we sell on this site have been legally collected and can be sold legally. Unlike many dealers we don't sell material from locations like China where export is illegal, or material collected from BLM lands which is illegal to sell. All of the US based material that we sell is either collected from private land, leases or areas where commercial collecting is permitted.

I have some fossils, do you want to buy them?

We typically don't make purchases from individuals, preferring to purchase fossils from our established suppliers. Occasionally we will buy material in old collections for resale when all of the collection data is present.

I found a fossil could you identify it for me or tell me how much it is worth?

If you need something identified we would highly recommend posting it in the Fossil ID Forum at There are plenty of very knowledgable people that can assist with identification. We are not in the business of authenticating or providing values for other people's fossils.

I've heard stories of fake fossils, is this true?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake fossils being sold by unscrupulous dealers as authentic. It's been estimated that nearly 90% of trilobites being exported from Morocco are fakes and fakes from China are also a huge problem. We not only work with trusted sources but have the knowledge to verify a fossils authenticity ourselves. We also encourage buyers to educate themselves. There is a great Facebook group, "Trilobites Fakes and Restoration" which is a good place to start.

How can you be selling real dinosaur teeth under $100. Aren't they rare?

Yes they are real. Many types of fossils are not as rare and many people may think. In fact, teeth of certain types of dinosaurs are relatively common in the fossil record. Like today's sharks they shed their teeth throughout their lifetime and an adult dinosaur may go through thousands of teeth in its lifespan. Like all fossils, some types maybe common but big perfect specimens can be extremely rare.

Where do your fossils come from?

Our fossils come from many sources worldwide. There are some we have self collected and prepared. The bulk we buy wholesale in quantity from suppliers. We prefer to work with the people that actually took the fossils out of the ground instead of dealers. This allows us to get the best prices and also allows us to provide more detailed information and backstory on the collection. In some cases we also buy high end collections of fossils that are being liquidated by longtime collectors for resale.

Do your fossils have "repair" or "restoration" and what's the difference?

Repair and restoration refer to two very different things. Repair is taking something that is broken and fixing it to make it whole. For example most trilobites in limestone are found in multiple pieces and have to be glued back together to make them whole. Well done repair work only adds to the value of a specimen.

Restoration refers to adding something to a fossil that wasn't there. This may include replacing shell sections that were damaged during collection/preparation or reconstructing a missing spine on a trilobite. Some types of fossils from some sites almost always will have collection damage that needs to be restored. Many collectors prefer having a specimen with minor restoration over one that may have some areas of missing shell. The key is disclosure. Unfortunately many fossil dealers, in particular many of the well known online ones, don't disclose restoration on the fossils they sell. It's our policy to list any restoration up front in the item's description.

Do you ship overseas?

Yes, we will ship our fossils overseas.

How do you accept payment?

We accept payment through credit, debit cards and Paypal in our online order system. In addition for higher priced orders we can arrange alternative payment methods including checks and wire transfers. Contact us if you have any questions.

What if I want a fossil which is already sold or want something not listed on

Just ask either through our contact form or by giving us a call. It's possible we may have something in stock for you that hasn't yet been added to the site. If we don't have it we can most likely get it for you from the dozens of sources that we have.

Do you insure your shipments?

It is an unfortunate reality of shipping that occasionally a package goes missing or is damaged in transit. We take pride in our ability to pack items and get them to their destination intact, but unfortunately there are circumstances beyond our control.

It is extremely difficult and time consuming to get shipping companies (USPS, UPS, Fedex, etc) to pay out on insurance claims even when they are clearly at fault so we "self insure" shipments. A premium is added to the shipping cost to cover the cost of self insurance. This premium is currently set to 0.75% of the total order value.

Why is a specimen on hold?

Specimens go on hold for a short period of time when they are added to someones shopping cart, allowing them to complete the purchase before someone else purchases it. If they don't follow through with the purchase the hold will expire. As a policy we don't hold specimens for extended periods of time unless we are just waiting for a payment to finish processing.