Petrified Wood, Gemstone of the Week

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Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood is best described as the fossilised remains of terrestrial vegetation. In most cases, chalcedony minerals replace the remains of the wood, creating a wood-like gemstone. Today, the main commercial source of the stone is Arizona, though the mineral can be found in various other locations, too. Due to the polished appearance of the stone, Petrified Wood is often used within gemstone jewellery as well as for carvings and ornaments. In this article, we explore the gemstone in more detail.

How Does Petrified Wood Occur?

Formed deep underground, Petrified Wood is created when wood becomes buried by volcanic ash or sediment. Limiting the flow of oxygen, these materials preserve the stone and prevent aerobic decomposition. Though sediment and volcanic ash block oxygen, water can still flow through the materials. Over time, water deposits a high level of minerals into the wood’s cells; this causes the wood’s lignin and cellulose to decay, and a stone mould forms in its place. This process is referred to as petrification.

How to Identify Petrified Wood

Due to its unique appearance, Petrified Wood can often be identified by appearance alone. However, trained professionals may use other methods, too. Measuring a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, the durable stone is much harder than similar minerals. Most specimens of Petrified Wood will exhibit a rainbow of colours. This is due to the presence of Manganese, Copper, and Iron Oxide in the stones composition. As the appearance of bark remains in most specimens, the stone can also be identified this way. The only difference between Petrified Wood and organic wood is the colour variation and smoothness. Petrified Wood is always extremely smooth to the touch.

Another great way to identify the Petrified Wood is by looking at the sap. Once wood undergoes the petrification process, the sap dries. This causes it to change colour from amber to white. This is a great way to distinguish between Petrified and Non-Petrified Wood. Another way to identify the stone is by growth rings; growth rings will always be visible in Petrified Wood – even if the specimen is small.

Different Colours and Types of Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood can be found in a range of different colours. The colour of the stone will depend on the inorganic materials in the composition. The most common contaminating elements are Manganese, Copper, and Iron Oxide, though other materials can also be found. Below, we discuss the contaminating elements and their related colours.


If Carbon is present in the stones composition the specimen will appear black.


If Chromium is contaminating the stone it will appear green or blue.


Stones will the presence of Cobalt will also appear green or blue, though the tone may be slightly lighter.


Petrified Wood contaminated with Copper will appear a light shade of blue.

Iron Oxide

If Iron Oxide is present, the stone will exhibit colour of red, brown, and yellow.


If Manganese is contaminating the stone it will appear pink or orange.

Manganese Oxide

Stones will the presence of Manganese Oxide will appear a dirty shade of yellow.
Where is Petrified Wood Found?

Today, Arizona is the main commercial source of Petrified Wood. However, the stone can be found in various other locations, too. Notable sources also include Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, India, Libya, Namibia, Ukraine, and the UK.

Healing Properties of Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood is known as the stone of patience and transformation. It is often used to eliminate annoyances and worries, particularly in the workplace. The stone is also thought to provide strength to those undergoing spiritual growth, helping the beholder to advance quicker than they would without it. Petrified Wood also provides strength in other areas of life including relationships, work, and home life. The stone also helps to understand the reasoning behind unpleasant events. This can help the beholder to not make the same mistake twice and learn how to turn past weaknesses into strengths.

Physically, Petrified Wood is used to treat a variety of health conditions such as paralysis and atrophied muscles. Working to strengthen the back and align the spine, it can benefit those suffering from pain or discomfort in the back, neck, and shoulders. The stone also helps to align the feet, making it helpful for balance when walking. With this in mind, Petrified Wood may benefit those who struggle with walking short distances. The stone is also used to treat hearing loss and incontinence, particularly in the older generation. The mineral is regarded as an ‘all-round healing stone’ providing support to every area of the physical body.

When used within crystal healing, Petrified Wood works best with Agate, Jasper, Onyx, Opal, Carnelian, and Bloodstone. The stone can also be used for Gaia Healing. When used in this way, it should be placed in an area of disturbed Earth energy for best results.

In Summary

Good-quality Petrified Wood is popular worldwide. Today, the most notable deposits of the stone are found in Arizona, though the mineral can also be found in other locations including Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Egypt, Greece, India, and the UK. Loved for its unique appearance and durable nature, high-quality Petrified Wood is often used in jewellery and ornamental carvings. Whether you’re hoping to use the stone for its crystal healing benefits or you’re looking for a beautiful new addition to your jewellery collection, purchase a piece of Petrified Wood to reap the benefits.

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