Next Sunday, April 13, Fossil Realm will be on the hit show, Four Rooms, attempting to sell rare spiny ammonite fossil. Watch it at 8 PM on CBC.

The Fossil Realm collection is home to some of the world’s most unique natural history pieces, including a 14 million year old sea-lion skull, pyritized trilobites with soft body parts and a complete mammoth tusk from the North Sea, to name but a few. For many years, Fossil Realm directors Jim and Peter Lovisek have been hunting for special pieces like these and are excited about presenting one of their finest treasures on national TV.

Jim will come face to face with four of Canada’s most successful buyers to negotiate a deal. These larger than life buyers include two antiques dealers, an auctioneer with some of the world’s wealthiest as clientele, and a tribal arts dealer with a fascination for oddities and the macabre.  

Fossil Realm's Jim Lovisek with Four Rooms host Reshmi Nair. Getting ready to pitch a rare spiny ammonite to four hungry buyers.

So, what incredible item is he pitching? And why has it garnered so much attention? The incomparably rare fossil in question is a spiny heteromorph ammonite of the genus Ostlingoceras, a fabulously decorated ancient cousin of the squid. Our specimen, a once-in-a-lifetime find, was discovered in the French Alps from a fossil locale that boasts some of the rarest and most interesting ammonites ever found.

It has a corkscrew-shaped shell, lined with intact original spines. The so-called “heteromorph ammonites” come in a fantastic array of shapes and sizes and often have intricate shell ornamentation. Our ammonite has a hooked feature that virtually never fossilizes making it unique.


The ammonite grabs the attention of buyer Jessica Lindsay Phillips, director of the Billy Jamieson-Niagara Falls Museum Collection

Furthermore, fossils like this are almost never seen because they are so difficult to extract from the earth and prepare. A skilled fossil preparator from France took over 200 hours to expose the three-dimensional form of the fossil from the matrix. Few people have the knowledge to undertake such a complex process without damaging the original material. 

Jim and Peter fell in love with this fossil for these reasons, and more, but it was somewhat of a surprise how many other people have been drawn to this ammonite. At the Bancroft gem and mineral show we showcased our prized piece for the first time. By chance, one of the producers from Four Rooms happened to be visiting the show and noticed our booth. She was enamoured by the specimen as we are and became determined to have it on the show. 

So, How much is this extraordinary fossil worth? And will Fossil Realm’s Jim Lovisek make a deal? To find out, turn on CBC Sunday, April 13 at 8 PM Eastern. You might be surprised about what happens.










April 06, 2014 by Peter Lovisek
Tags: Press
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