Amaltheus covered in pyrite

The Amaltheus is covered with a thick layer of pyrite

The Amaltheus is covered with a
thick layer of pyrite

After starting the preparation, the pieces were glued together

After starting the preparation,
the pieces were glued together

The upper part of the ammonite is deformed and needs special care

The upper part of the ammonite is
deformed and needs special care

Work on the centre of the ammonite has begun

Work on the centre of the ammonite
has begun

Beautiful pyrite: it shimmers in various colors

Beautiful pyrite:
it shimmers in various colors

The finished specimen after 18 hours of painstaking work

The finished specimen after 18 hours
of painstaking work

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From my good friend Sönke Simonsen I received a promising, unprepared specimen of a “Giant Amaltheus” from the so called Erzbank (highly pyritized layer) of Buttenheim. These sought-after, occasionally very large-sized ammonites are mostly found in a pyritized state in this specific layer. In this case a persistent shell of pyrite had formed, covering the entire ammonite.

This shell needed to be removed very gently in order to preserve the underlying white shell. After careful preparation, the almost complete shell of the Amaltheus sp. is visible. Especially the center area is well preserved. The partly iridescent, outer parts of the shell layer were preserved as well.

Fossil: Amaltheus sp. 

Locality: Clay pit near Buttenheim (Bavaria, Germany)

Formation: Jurassic, Liassic

Diameter: 25 cm

Work required: 18 hours

The Ammonite and its preparation were published in the magazine Steinkern, issue 9 in 2012:

FREITAG, P. (2012): Präparation eines 25 cm großen Amaltheus aus Buttenheim, in: DER STEINKERN, Heft 9, S. 4-5. Link zum Heft: https://www.steinkern.de/inhaltsangaben/916-heft9-der-steinkern.html