What color is it?: As you can see above ammolite
is a beautiful rainbow of colors from intense blue/greens to
very fine orange/reds.
is the story behind this gemstone?: This
is an organic stone that, in spite of its name and origin, is
not a true fossil gem material like amber. Instead, the shell
from the ancient ammonite has been compressed to
the point that the calcium carbonate has been recrystallized
to form a new material called aragonite. For most
of you this will not be important. But for gemologists you will
want to take note of this fact later on. But for consumers, think
of it as nature taking something old and beautiful, and making
it into something new and beautiful that only occurs in one place
and in one method.
Can I wear it everyday?: Yes, if the gem is set in a triplet
mounting. These gems are very fragile in their native state as
shown by the photograph below. So they must be set between a
layer of what is generally black onyx on bottom and clear quartz
on top. With these protective materials set with the gem ammolite
you can wear it almost anywhere with the usual care and caution
for any rare gem material.
Is it expensive?: Generally yes. The finer qualities will be
quite expensive. This is a very, very rare and unusual gem material.
So be prepared to pay dearly for a nice color piece of good size.
The ammolite in the photograph at top measures approx. 1 inch
long and costs approx. US$200.00 on the retail market. Larger
pieces will be even higher on a per item basis.
Is it a birthstone?: No.
What do I need to know before going
shopping?: Do not expect to
find this gemstone is just any old jewelry store. You will need
to find a store who deals in a lot of exotic gemstones, and/or
one who has a qualified gemologist on staff who can make sure
you are getting the real thing. It may take a while for your
local jeweler to find you some nice stones to choose from. But
be patient. This is something that no one else on your street
will own so make sure you get a good one.
Raw fossilized ammonite straight
from the ground showing orient of ammolite in shell. Note the
very thin shell layer.
Source: The finest are from Alberta, Canada
Chemical: CaCO2 (calcium carbonate)
Formation: Found in rare strata of fossilized
ammonite beds in ancient sea floors which have been uplifted
to the Canadian highlands.
Crystal System: None
Unusual Properties: Very fine orient or pearlessence.
Insurance Institute of Jewelry Appraisal
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