7.1" Polished Tiger Iron "Stromatolite" Bookends - 3.02 Billion Years

This is a gorgeous pair of bookends made from 3.02 billion year old Stromatolite collected from the Ord Ranges in Western Australia. Commonly referred to as Tiger Iron, it is a banded structure of Tigers 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. Either way it's gorgeous to look at and even more impressive when you consider that it's evidence of life on earth several billion years ago.

Each end varies slightly in size, with one measuring 7.1" tall, 5.5" wide and 1.7" thick while the other is 6.2" tall, 5.8" wide and 1.7" thick. Together these bookends weigh just under 12 lbs.

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 planet 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
7.1 x 5.5", up to 1.7" thick
We guarantee the authenticity of all of our
specimens. Read more about our
Authenticity Guarantee.