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Dinosaur Teeth, Gold Crystals and Other Cool Stuff

One of my regular stops during my annual tour of the Show has become D.J. "Doug" Parsons' room in the Executive Inn, enthusiastically staffed by Don and Sara Parsons (dad and mom) of Parsons' Fossils and Minerals. That's Don above left, holding a Subhyracodon sp. (Running Rhino) skull while some Tucson prickly pear cactus sticks him in the back. The rhino skull was about 21 inches in length by about 10 inches wide. It's from the Chadron Formation - Early Oligocene, Custer County, South Dakota. Check out the teeth. This rhino skull wanted $1200.

I first met Don about three Shows ago when I was chasing down a lead on some microscopy lens adapters for my camcorder. Turns out that in addition to fossils and precious metal specimens, Don is also a Raynox dealer. I acquired a Raynox Video MicroExplorer(tm) VM-3000 lens and stage system through him (shown above right), which I've since used extensively in imaging work for Bob's Rock Shop. The Raynox product line includes an extensive selection of lenses and imaging accessories for 35mm, digitals and video cameras. If you need a micro, macro or telephoto adapter for your camera, be sure and check out the Raynox products on Don's web site.

One specimen shown by Don at Tucson this year which I thought particularly aesthetic and photogenic is this skull of a Leptictis dakotensis (order Leptictida). Leptictids occur throughout the White River sediments. This bug eating species remained virtually unchanged from the lower to upper Oligocene times. It resembles a modern day shrew. This skull with shoulder blade and other parts attached measures about 60 x 30 x 25mm and wanted $750.

While I appreciated Don's skulls and fossils of other ancient mammals, I thought the dinosaur teeth he was showing to be the coolest by far. I've always been amazed that you can buy both genuine dinosaur teeth and meteorites cheaper than a Barbie doll, and I'm not talking about a Rockhound Barbie, either. I have seen sub-$10 meteorites but I had never seen a sub-$10 dinosaur tooth until Don showed me one during my visit at this year's Show. I was going to just snap up that one and several of the other inexpensive teeth for my own collection, but after thinking about it for a bit, I decided doing so would deprive some of my report browsers a chance to make Don's acquaintance, as well as the opportunity to acquire one of these rarely affordable treasures.

The dinosaur teeth shown below are but a small selection representative of the many specimens Don brought to Tucson this year.

  • Above left is a 30 mm partial Daspletosaurus torosus (frightful lizard) tooth. It's from the Oldman Formation - Late Cretaceous 68-76 mya, Red Deer River Valley, Alberta, Canada. This specimen was only asking $6!
  • Shown above center and right is a 50 mm partial Albertosaurus sarcophagus (Theropod) tooth from the Oldman Formation - Late Cretaceous 68-76 mya, Red Deer River Valley, Alberta, Canada. Note the prominent ridge detail. Even though it is incomplete, this one seemed a bargain to me at $66 due to the well defined serrations on the front of the tooth.

  • Shown above left and center is another partial Albertosaurus sarcophagus (Theropod) tooth from the Oldman Formation - Late Cretaceous 68-76 mya, Red Deer River Valley, Alberta, Canada. This one wanted only $30. It is 46mm long.
  • Above right is a Ceratosaurus nasicornis (horned lizard) tooth from the Morrison Formation - Late Jurassic, San Juan County, Utah. It is 15mm in length. $230

  • Above left is an Albertosaurus sarcophagus tooth from the Oldman Formation, Red Deer River Valley, Alberta, Canada. It is 40mm in length. $215
  • Left center is a Tyrannosarus rex tooth, #7 Right Dentary from the Hell Creek Formation - Late Cretaceous, Wibaux County, Montana. It is 50mm in length. $1850
  • Right center is an Allosaurus fragilis (Different Lizard) tooth from the Late Jurassic 145-156 mya - Como Bluff, Wyoming. It is 40mm long. $385
  • Above right is a Nanotyrannus lancensis (Pygmy Tyrannosaur) tooth from the Hell Creek Formation - Late Cretaceous 65-68 mya, South Dakota. It is 18mm long. $136

  • Above left is a Triceratops horridus (Horned Dinosaur) tooth from the Hell Creek Formation - Upper Cretaceous 65 mya, South Dakota. It is 35mm in length. $310
  • Center left is a Troodon formosus Hallax (dew claw) from the Two Medicine Formation - Late Cretaceous, Glacier County, Montana. It is 20mm in length. $860
  • Shown center right is a Dromaeosaurus albertensis (Swift Running Lizard Caudal Vertebra from the Judith River Formation - Late Cretaceous, Alberta, Canada, It is 40mm long. $320
  • Shown right is a Trodon formosus tooth from the Late Cretaceous - Niobrara County, Wyoming. This one was 4mm long. $72
Last but not least, Don was offering numerous aesthetic crystallized gold specimens from various localities. Don's golds are generally not large and are best appreciated with a 10x loupe or a low power scope. Below are several representative specimens.

  • Shown left is a 3 x 4mm crystallized gold from Dixie Mine Company, Idaho Springs, Colorado. $40
  • Shown center is a 5 x 6mm crystallized gold from Blewett Pass, Washington. $60
  • Shown right is 5 x 5mm crystallized gold Ace of Diamonds Mine, Washington. $48

  • Shown above left is a 4 x 2cm gold on calcite from Hopes Nose, England. $960
  • Shown above right are intersecting platinum crystals Chabarowsk, from Kondjor East Siberia, Russia. This was a very aesthetic specimen to my eye. This specimen is 4 x 8 x 8 mm overall and the single cubes are approximately 3 x 3 x 3 mm. $725

Dan and Sara Parsons Email: dparsons@enetis.net Snail: 2808 Eden Lane, Rapid City, SD 57703 Phone: 605.348.0937 Fax: 605.341.2568

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