Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Ammonite / Ammolite


Ammonite was a cephalopod about 70,000,000 years ago.
Ammolite is the opalised fossil


Ammonite is the mineral form of a fossil shell of the Cretaceous period
that existed 70 to 135 million years ago. Ammonites were squid-like
mollusks similar to the modern Nautilus with coiled, univalve shell
composed primarily of Aragonite.

This form of Ammonite is found only in Alberta, Canada. The Ammonites
lived in subtropic seas that bordered the Rocky Mountains in that area. As
the seas receded, the Ammonites were crushed by tons of vegetation and
silt, and many were fossilized. Rare trace elements in some areas caused
radiant iridescent Blue, Green, Red and Gold to appear on the fossil

The recovery of the Ammolite is through pit mining. Tons of materials are
removed to recover the Ammolite. By law, intact fossils cannot be broken
for specimens, and each pit mine must be filled and reclaimed before other
pit mine can be opened. It has been determined that only 1 out of 100
Ammolite specimens found in the Alberta, is suitable for classification as
Ammolite. About 10 tons of material must be removed to recover 4.5 lbs. of

Ammolite is considered the rarest organic material. Hardness is only a 4,
so extreme care must be taken when storing Ammolite jewelry. To best
prevent scratching, a warm, solution of soapy water will keep Ammolite
jewelry color bright.

Ammolite is highly polished as Cabochons with flat tops. The background
color is dark Brown. Prices for Ammolite are based on the intensity of the
colors of fire with Reds, Yellows, Oranges, Gold’s and Greens are the
common colors found. Blues are rare, at times, you may come across very
rare Purples, and they have a price to match.


Chemical composition – Calcium carbonate.

Color – Dark gray with brilliant iridescent flashes of green, gold, red,
and sometimes blue or purple.

Optics – R.I 1.52-1.67.

Durability – Hardness 4. Brittle.

Crystal structure – Orthorhombic.

Specific Gravity – 2.8.

Sources – Alberta, Canada, appears to be the only known source of
Ammolite. Ammonite is also known, less frequently, as korite or

G. Dancing Horse
Autumn-Wolf Gallery


Just had to add this: dont use a gem sticky to get it out of the setting!
(Gem Sticky: beeswax mixed with charcoal dust) it will tear layers off of
its surface. I had to get it repolished! “North American Gem” sells
Ammolite, they were very kind to me and my fellow students at the Alberta
College of Art and Design. Robb