Where there’s a high-end market for a product, there’s a seller willing to take your cash in exchange for a fake one of those. Driftwood is on the rise as one of those.
Events like the Saint George Island fire and many other fires throughout drought-stricken Florida, make it so you can count on them to become more rare to find with time. Talking about time, coupled with fire events is the extensive amount of said time needed for driftwood to “cure” — that is, to become its lovely self.
That’s why they’re so special. For driftwood hunters, this wildlife artifact is the “rough” part of our diamonds in the rough. For buyers, though, some just don’t have time for this wait and sellers are, true to form, filling that void with what they consider truly genuine: dollar bills.
Some sellers even admit that their products are manufactured or processed, that they’re essentially selling fake driftwood, yet they price their products like the real thing anyway. Okay, so some folks go for open duping. I’m not about to waste my time wondering why. For those looking for the real thing, here’s a couple of items to spot.
Color’s Not Actually Key — Typical driftwood is generally known to have a washed-out look with a distinctive gray appearance. To be clear, that’s the look of most unfinished driftwood, but not all. Driftwood can be colorized by environmental factors, such as our coral-colored find pictured on this page. (Below) Finished driftwood can come in a rainbow of colors; and with a clear finish, it can look as beautiful as an intricate piece of furniture. Also, if they’re not completely destroyed, some genuine driftwood can appear black from campers’ BBQ pits or brush fires.
Whirlpool Holes Are Hard to Find – There all sorts of types of driftwood. They range from gigantic tree stumps on their sides facing away from the Atlantic’s harsh sunrises to cedar trees poking their knees all over Florida’s swamps. My favorite are the ones with holes in them. To me, the more holes, the better. If you’re looking to buy, look for holes that don’t appear to have been made by any man or machine. Real driftwood holes tend to have a whirlpool appearance to their shapes. They’re deep and interconnected and sometimes look like termite holes. Good comparison since these holes are made by a marine version of the termite.
Want more info? Check out Harvesting Driftwood 101.