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Enhancements are often done to an actual specimen, such as painting or polishing the specimen.

Although they are still original fossils, such treatments reduce their scientific value considerably but may still be of appeal – not least due to their improved aesthetic value – to some collectors.

Beginners should start with affordable specimens to limit their risk, consult the opinion of more experienced eyes, and the very best approach is gain hands-on experience over time by handling wide a range of specimens as possible.

What other useful approaches do fellow collectors use to tell real from fake?

These can be fabricated with resin, carved into limestone or even real fossilized bone, or simply painted onto rock matrix or another partial fossilized species.