Fossils Premium Positioning: Authenticity - Quality - Legal Compliance
At Catawiki we select the best fossils of premium quality.
These unique objects are truly for everyone: from special items for the starting collector, to the really exceptional objects for the experienced collector. The fossilised objects we provide are also suitable for interior design, as decorative objects.
Because potential buyers come to Catawiki looking for special and rare fossils, our in-house experts select every piece for our auctions, ensuring they are of premium quality and are presented in the best possible way.
We do this because we aim to keep our bidders excited, allowing them to find the pieces they are interested in and ensure our sellers have great selling experiences.
At Catawiki we auction genuine fossils that are more than 5,000 years old.
For our dedicated Fossil auctions, we seek and select fossils of various animal and plant species that:
- are in at least decent condition or professionally restored where possible to their original condition
- where necessary have been consolidated or stabilised to be of lasting conservation
- originate from countries compliant with the National Cultural Heritage laws which allow the export of the respective fossilised objects
- are valued at least €50
Collectable fossils of various species and kinds
We seek fossils displaying a decent part of the specimen, enough for us to determine its species. Our experts select the specimens they believe:
- are of interest to collectors, e.g. due to their scientific value, the place they were found, or because they were owned by an important person
- are a decorative addition to the interior
Our fossils collection is comprised of fossilised vertebrates or invertebrates, fossilised wood, plants and amber that our experts deem as valuable additions.
Fossils that are younger than 5,000 years are more suitable for the Taxidermy auctions.
Fossils of amber encased specimens
Amber encased specimens or cabochons with complete species inclusions are highly sought after.
Pieces that include partial inclusions of species that can be named hold great scientific value and are very also very interesting for our buyers.
Cabochons with a decorative attribute, such as amber encased feathers, are also accepted.
If you wish to submit more than one cabochon, please include a photograph of all the pieces together in one photograph.
Fossils that are unsuitable for auction
There are certain types of items that we find unsuitable for our auctions:
- Fossils with too much restoration (i.e. ammonites will all spines reconstructed; unless the fossil is unique or of a very rare kind and has small professional restorations)
- Fossils that might display an incomplete specimen making its identification impossible as well as incomplete invertebrates (ammonites, trilobites, etc.)
- Poorly prepared fossils (e.g. remaining traces of tools or fine details clearly being damaged)
- Fossils with obvious damage (broken or partial fossils such as partial ammonites, trilobites or teeth that have only little decorative value)
- No forgeries accepted
To be suitable for auction, items need to be in a condition that has no major impact on the items’ collectable or decorative value. Therefore items may be:
- professionally restored or repaired in a way that their original appearance
or construction is not lost
- preserved, meaning treated to protect the item against bad weather, or possibly un-preserved fossils as long as their construction remains intact
- damaged fragments, or fragments that were composed of several individual pieces are of interest only if:
- the particular fragment is scarce and
- the fossil has a high decorative appeal
Requirements for import and export of fossils
Trades involving Natural Heritage (natural sites, biological formations etc.) are governed by a number of national, and international regulations.
Sellers and buyers are expected to take all reasonable steps to guarantee the lawfulness of what they buy and sell, so as not to contravene the 1970 UNESCO Convention.
At Catawiki, our experts select each item to be listed in our auctions and aim to verify each lot’s provenance to ensure legally compliant trade.
- Cultural heritage laws
The 1970 UNESCO Convention relating to the illicit trade of natural heritage is a worldwide set of rules dedicated to halting the illegal trafficking of protected objects. Before submitting an item, please consult the cultural heritage and import/export regulations: http://www.unesco.org/culture/natlaws/.
- CITES regulations
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is an international agreement between governments with the aim of ensuring international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants with no threat to their survival. Considering these regulations, for different species
(i.e. elephant, lion or rhinoceros) different certificates are required.
CITES rules and regulations
The CITES rules and regulations are subject to regular change and update. With this in mind, we strongly recommend you research the lawfulness of the fossil that you submit for auction. The following links provide all the information you might need:
EU CITES Regulations
For the EU Internal Regulations re. CITES Annexes B, C and D, go to:
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/CITES/pdf/trade_regulations/short_ref_guide.pdf - see Page 16
Article 10 Certificate
For an English Language application for an Article 10 Certificate, go to:
For regular CITES email updates including species-listing, go to: https://www.CITES.org/
EU CITES Authorities
For the list of current CITES Authorities within the EU, go to:
Accredited Authorised Appraisers
For information on Authorised Appraisers within a particular EU Member State, check with your line manager.
Register as a seller to begin selling your fossils on Catawiki, then start submitting your objects for auction right away.