If ammonites rule in Tucson, then trilobites run a close second. Again, you can buy them by the bag, as jewelry, in slabs, on plates, and even one at a time. At the lowest end, you spend as little as a two bucks, for the hundreds and hundreds of less-than-an-inch-long trilobites from Morocco. For big spenders, there are the one-of-kind crustaceans that will cost several thousand dollars, including a pea-sized one for $700. And, of course, nearly every seller is willing to make you a special deal.
As usual you get what you pay for, noted one high end dealer, who disdained the cheap trilobites from Morocco. Some of these spectacular trilobites seem almost too perfect to be real. The specimens have heavy ornamentation with spines and tails so fragile that they look as if they would break if you touch them. And in many cases they did break. The guy preparing the fossil simply collected them and glued them back in place, or he may also have made a new appendage with resin.
Some of my favorites are where various species are cemented together to make it look like all lived in harmony. If you are interested, there are several good web sites on how to detect fakes. A nice, non-commercial one is from trilobites.com. But if you don’t care and just want a nice looking trilobite Tucson is the place to come.