1.85" Tiger Iron "Stromatolite" Oval Cabochon

This is a gorgeous 1.85" tall, oval cabochon that was crafted from 3.02 billion year old tiger iron collected from the Ord Ranges in Western Australia. Tiger iron is a banded structure of Tiger's Eye, Red Jasper and Hematite. One theory is that tiger iron is a typical stromatolite that has undergone mineral replacement with iron oxide. Another is that the microbes formed the banded iron directly while the stromatolite was being formed. Yet another is that it was formed indirectly by stromatolites when the oxygen they produced mixed with iron produced by submarine volcanoes precipitating bands of iron oxide. Either way this tiger iron is gorgeous to look at and even more impressive when you consider that it is evidence of life on earth several billion years ago.

Stromatolites are the layered trace fossils of microbial life, primarily cyanobacteria. Some of them date back an astounding 3.4 billion years, making them the oldest record of life on Earth! Stromatolites and Microbialites were typically formed in shallow water by the growth of layer upon layer of cyanobacteria, a single-celled, photosynthesizing microbe. These layers often form very beautiful and colorful banded structures in the rock.

These oxygen-producing cyanobacteria were so simple they lacked a DNA-packaging nucleus, but were responsible for possibly the largest changes the earth has undergone. They were the only major source of atmospheric oxygen critical for the development of more complex life.

Tiger Iron
Ord Ranges, Western Australia
Cleaverville Formation
1.85 x 1.05", .2" thick
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