preserving fossils

K. Lichtner (
Tue, 12 Sep 1995 12:57:03 GMT

This appears to be the most relevant newsgroup for my question; however,
if there is one more appropriate, I'll post there. Now onto my question ...

I've just returned from a brief vacation in Alberta, where, on my parents
farm I discovered a large number of ammonite fossils in excellent condition
(they were actually washing out of a river bank). Most of the pearly shell
is completely intact on these fossils, but it is very delicate and tends
to flake off - it also looks quite dull and dirty (however, when wet, they
are vivid and multicolored (although, mainly purplish)).

My question is, what can I use to safely clean and protect/preserve these
fossils so that they not only last, but their original color is exposed? Is
there some sort of standard fossil preservative available? Any pointers or
insights would be greatly appreciated!