Everyone has their own quirks. Doctors get weirdly hooked onto new diseases, engineers love broken (or breaking) things, and paleontologists, well, they are no different. Paleontologists, or people who love fossils in general, certainly make it high on the list of people with unique quirks.
You can never really know when they’ll stare in awe at a completely ordinary-looking rock, or sigh and shake their head at another one that sparkles.
If you have a fossil lover in your circle of lovers, family, or friends, you must relate to the struggle. It just feels impossible to get them a gift they’ll actually love! Luckily for you, we’ve gone out and beyond to handpick 8 interesting gift ideas you can get your fossil lovers these upcoming holidays. Here are a few gift ideas to get your fossil lovers hooked.
If you spend any time studying your fossil-loving friend in their natural habitat, there are high chances you’ve already caught them collecting random rocks. In fact, there are times their pockets are so full of rocks that it almost feels too painful to watch. If you want to do them a favor and get their gratitude in one go, you definitely won’t go wrong with a rock collecting kit and bag
There are various rock collecting bags and containers in the market. If you want something that’s both unique and practical, look for a collapsible canvas made of waterproof leather. That way, the bag can stay closed when hung unused on the belt and be opened easily when it’s time to collect rocks. Naturally, your friend will also love a rock collecting kit to complete the rockhounding process. A good rock collecting kit will contain the bag in addition to a hammer, shovel, rock chisels, wooden chisel, jewelers loupe, and a 3-in-1 whistle.
Ammolite Jewelry and Accessories
There are a few things in this world that can match the elegance and beauty of ammolite. If you’re unfamiliar with it, ammolite is an opal-like gemstone created from fossilized ammonites. Millions of years ago, the shells of the now-extinct ammonite cephalopods fossilized in what became the Bearpaw Formation located in Southwestern Alberta, Canada. Ammolite has officially received the title of a gemstone, and it is believed it emits healing energy that boosts the vitality of the holder.
The fossilized shell is so rare and mythic that any mined piece is sure to have its own unique color, hue, and iridescence. Generally, ammolite fossils are infamous for their unique iridescent colors, in which hues of red, green, and orange can be seen in different ratios. If you stumble upon a much rarer cut, you might just be lucky enough to witness a combination of blue and purple iridescent hues as well.
Needless to say, the rich history, majestic look, and various back-stories are enough to make an ammolite piece a worthy gift for any fossil lover. You’ll have a wide variety of choices to select the appropriate gift depending on the person. You can get them in the form of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, whole shells, or even a part of a cut to display as interior decoration at home.
A rock tumbler is another perfect gift for rock collectors. The greatest thing about it is that it’s going to fit your fossil-loving friend regardless of their age and expertise. Generally, rock tumblers are vastly used by amateurs and young scientists to introduce them to the art of geology. If your friend is just getting started, there’s no better gift to get them – but they’ll appreciate it all the same even if they’ve been in the game for years. The whole trick is to get them a rock tumbler that suits their expertise level, and perhaps add a few add-ons.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that there are various kinds of rock tumblers. For starters, tumblers are divided into two categories: rotary and vibratory. A rotary tumbler is often used for the starting steps, while the vibratory one is used for polishing the rocks in the end phase. When it comes to price, tumblers of the highest quality can be pretty expensive, but, if you look in the right places, you’ll be able to find a high-quality one that’s still affordable. When you’re looking for a good rock tumbler, be sure to choose one that has a powerful motor, has a leak-proof barrel, operates without much noise, can work on metals, and, most importantly, has a warranty of at least 2 years.
DIY Paleontology-Themed Items
If you have the right resources, there is an infinite number of items you can give your fossil-loving friend. The great thing about being resourceful is that, if you like a gift idea, but you have no idea where to buy it from, you can do it yourself. For instance, you can either create or download a design of a dinosaur or any remarkable fossil and then 3D-print it using a 3D printer. You can print a 2D version on a wooden frame using a laser cutter. The same design can be used in a variety of ways: print it on a t-shirt or a hoodie, print it as a sticker for laptops or mobile phones, print it on a cup, or even order custom-made socks using that design.
Once you realize you can make anything you find online, there are endless possibilities for the gift in question. Your biggest mission then will be to research your way through the ideas and find one you can properly pull off and finish in decent shape.
Although making gifts using your hands is fun and rewarding, you can still go for ready-made products if you don’t have the time or resources. Luckily for you, there is a myriad of online platforms and offline stores that sell paleontologist-themed apparel. Even if you can’t find one, it’s enough to look for an apparel store that provides customized products and just give them a design of your choice.
Afterward, you can choose the kind of product you want, be it a t-shirt, a hoodie, socks, hats, or any other piece of clothing. Most importantly, look for a store that you can trust to deliver high-quality products on time. It’s worthwhile to check the reviews of previous customers before seeking the store, just to be sure you won’t be scammed.
Sometimes, going for a gift that can be used as home decoration can be the safest course of action. People have different tastes when it comes to fashion, so maybe it’s better to get them a gift they can showcase without having to change their style. For instance, you can go for a cup or a mug that’s a little bit on the creative side, such as a beer-themed mug or a cup with a dinosaur tail for a holder. You can even simply customize a cup with quotes that’ll make the drink much more interesting for any paleontologist.
Then again, you can go for grand gifts that are sure to drop your paleontologist friend’s jaw in speechlessness. If that’s what you’re after, and you don’t mind spending some extra cash, then you should definitely look for fossil sculpture gifts that replicate the skeletons of well-known dinosaurs. A handmade sculpture of a T-Rex, Velociraptor, or a Triceratops can never go wrong with any fossil lover. The sculpture will surely be the focal point and utmost source of pride in their homes.
Is your fossil lover a huge movie geek? If they are, then you can’t miss out on the chance of gifting them a mosasaur fossil tooth. If you’re not sure what that is, then you have a lot of Jurassic World action to catch up on. This classic kind of reptile dinosaur was showcased in both “Jurassic World” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” films.
Luckily for you, you can get an authentic tooth from the Prognathodon species, which dates back to 60 million years, for no more than $70. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect gift, we don’t know what is.
Gift Items with Significant History
Although it can be a bit difficult, you can spend some time and effort researching fossils with significant history. For instance, you might come across a pleistocene cave bear jaw that dates back 100,000 years – there are a lot of theories and speculations regarding their origin and evolution that will be sure to hook your friend. You may also come across a shark tooth that can be worn as a pendant or a 250-year-old trilobite gift.
You don’t have to look for a $450-worth megalodon tooth to surprise the paleontologist in your life. If you get creative enough and know where to look, you’ll be sure to find quite a few intriguing gifts that are sure to surprise them as well. Some of these gifts include ammolite jewelry, rock tumblers, rock collecting kits and bags, and miscellaneous paleontology-themed items that you can make yourself. If you do have the budget though, then you should definitely look through various fossils and other grand fossil-inspired gifts. Now, all that remains is to prepare for one hell of a holiday!