About polishing
of stromatolites

About hand-polishing: Unless noted otherwise, Fossil Mall's stromatolites are hand-polished on one side to a glassine finish. Preparing sliced and polished stromatolite in this form requires heavy equipment and much labor. A large diamond-blade saw is required to slowly cut slices at the proper orientation. Next comes labor-intensive hand polishing using successively finer abrasive wheels of carbide and diamond. The finer the grit, the more intricate detail and colors are revealed. Hand polishing achieves a much better result than if a vibratory polishing machine is used. You will sometimes see people wet cut stromatolites prior to photography to bring out vivid colors and laminae. Hand polishing achives the same result, except it is permanent. This is very apparent by comparing the pictures of the polished and unpolished sides as shown below.

Scientists investigating ancient life forms in stromatolitic structures use hyperfine abrasives to be able to explore possible cellular structures at extreme magnification.

Here are a few examples of the result of the hand-polishing: