Fossils are no exception to counterfeiting and faking especially in light of their increasing popularity among collector and and novices alike. A entire cottage industry of fossil counterfeiting has sprung up in countries where fossils are commercialized. In Morocco for example, virtually every fossil that comes out of there can be counterfeited. The most glaring examples being, the multitudes of fake trilobites, brittle stars and starfish, mosasaur, and crocodile fossils. To the unsuspecting and inexperienced buyer, it may be hard to spot a fake. We recommend only buying from reputable dealers that can guarantee the authenticity of their specimens. Below are a few techniques for spotting fake fossils:
- Bright colors. Brightly colored fossils are a tell-tale sign of a fake fossils. Natural fossils, aren't usually brightly colored in nature.
- Deeply discounted cost. If the price for a specimen is unusually low, then it is most likely a fake. Good quality fossils are still rare and as such command a higher price.
- Light weight to size ratio. If a suspected fossil feels rather light for it's size, that could mean that it is a cast or fake.
Below are some examples of fake fossils.