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 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 copy of our Authenticity Guarantee with your order, please make note of it in the shipping instructions and we will create one for you and send it with your order. Upon request, we can also supply a pdf file.

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 almost never 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 as 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 have gone through thousands of teeth in its lifespan. Like all fossils, some types may be 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.

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.

How do you accept payment?

We accept all major credit, debit and prepaid cards via Stripe payment processing as well as Paypal. Google Pay and Apple Pay are available on supported devices. For higher priced items we can arrange alternative payment via checks, wire transfers, etc. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Do you ship Internationally?

Yes, we ship internationally and have shipped fossils to over 100 different countries. Unfortunately there are a small number of countries we can not ship to, due the very high package loss rates. These countries include Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and India.

There are a few countries where our shipping is limited due to customs or tax restrictions. For example, we currently can not ship orders under approximately $200 to the United Kingdom, due to tax changes under Brexit. Please contact us if you have any questions.

How long does shipping take?

We are able to ship most items out within 1-3 business days. Delivery time will vary based on the shipping method chosen at checkout and where the item is being shipped to. Once the item leaves our warehouse we have no control over carrier shipping delays, thus we cannot guarantee the delivery times for any order.

Do you insure your shipments?

It is an unfortunate reality of shipping that rarely a package goes missing or is damaged in transit. We take great pride in our ability to pack items and get them to their destination intact, but unfortunately there are occasionally circumstances beyond our control (packages run over by a mail truck, etc).

It is extremely difficult and time-consuming to get shipping companies (USPS, UPS, DHL, etc) to pay out on insurance claims even when they are clearly at fault, so we self insure shipments. We set aside funds to cover losses or damage. We can either issue a refund or find an agreeable replacement item in the case of damage or lost package.

For the purposes of considering a package lost in transit and eligible for refunds, a 30 business day timeframe is used for domestic shipments and 60 days for international. It is much more common that carriers “find” missing packages and deliver them late than for them to never be delivered. We can usually work with customers to provide a solution (replacement items, etc) prior to this time frame if the package does appear to be lost.

Return & Refund Policy

We offer a 30 day return policy (from the date of purchase) on all items that we sell. Items may be returned for any reason for a refund.

We cannot refund shipping costs or credit card processing fees (approximately 3%) UNLESS the return is made due to an error on our part or loss/damage during shipping. Credit card processors do not refund the fees we have paid to them when we issue a refund. This can be quite costly for us. If you chose to take the refund as store credit we can include the credit card processing fees in the amount.
Refunds or credits will be issued when the returned item has been received.

Order Cancellation Policy

If you wish to cancel an order you have placed with us before it ships, please contact us at or via our phone number (866.550.2013). In the event of an order cancellation we will issue a refund via the payment method used to place the order or provide store credit. As with returns, we unfortunately cannot refund credit card processing fees (about 3%) unless the refund is taken as store credit.

Please contact us if you have any questions about shipping or return policies.

Combining Orders

We will happily combine multiple orders and ship them together to help you save on shipping costs. Simply add a note in the instructions field on your orders that you’d like them shipped together and we’ll handle it from there. We will refund any difference between what you paid and the actual shipping cost.