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Ammonite and ammolite


Ammonites were squid-like guys who apparently ran out of time at the
end of the Cretaceous. What we call ammonite is their fossilized

Ammolite is the iridescent result of mineralization and pressure on
the fossilized ammonite. I am sure that I am not using the precise
term to describe the colorful appearance of ammolite, nor am I
knowledgeable enough to be specific about the “tectonics” involved.

The ammolite I’ve worked with is backed with something that looks
like black glass or slate, and is sealed with another smooth,
transparent material, maybe spinel. I guess you’d call it a triplet?

Ammolite is apparently found mostly in Canada (Alberta, I think),
although ammonites were everywhere there was ocean. It is primarily
red and green, with some yellowish bits.

Amy R. Karash
610.354.5349 voice
610.354.1503 fax


people, ammonite & ammolite are NOT the same material. ammonites are
ancestors in the nautilus family. ammolite is a material that looks
like a smooshed fire agate - ive


I am not sure that I am following this thread. AMOLITE is a
iridescent fossil shell that is found in Canada and often requires a
quartz cap. AmoNITE is also a fossil shell that looks like a miniture
nautilus. This also can be made into jewelery, but does not have any
play of color. It makes nice pendants that either are set in
gold/silver or wire wrapped…Don sommerfield


Ammonite is an extinct cephalopod mollusk. Ammolite is a
trade/rockhound name for the gem variety of an ammonite’s shell. The
formation and color properties of ammonite nacre (ammolite) are
similar to that of abalone, turban, and oysters. Will E.


is the OPALIZED fossil shell of ammonites. Found mostly in Canada
where evidently the conditions were right for opalization which we
know involves running water conditions. ANY organic specimen can
undergo opalization if conditions are right. In my shop, I carry
opalized great white shark teeth from Peru that have an interesting
play of colors. Also check out opalized horse teeth, etc. they are
quite extraordinary. Opalized wood is neat too. Whatever the item,if
it is in a condition that opal will form anyway, the item becomes
"opalized". Expect to pay much more for these specimens.
Hope this helps, Suzanne

    people, ammonite & ammolite are NOT the same material.
ammonites are ancestors in the nautilus family. ammolite is a
material that looks like a smooshed fire agate -  ive 

I don’t mean to be contrary, but I think you are partially mistaken.
There are many ways that we have fossil remains of ammonites. Some
occur as limestone like replacements, some occur as pirite
replacements, etc. The material sold under the trade name Ammolite ia
a replacement by still another material that indeed looks like
smooshed up fire agate. This particular replacement occurs primarily
where large or even very large ammonites came to rest. These
creatures did indeed look strikingly like present day nautilus.

   people, ammonite & ammolite are NOT the same material. ammonites
are ancestors in the nautilus family. ammolite is a material that
looks like a smooshed fire agate -  ive 

While I love the description of Ammolite as a “smooshed fire agate”
(and would equally love to see the expression on the faces of the
Canada Fossils, Ltd. staff if they heard it) Ammolite is a trade name
for the fossilized outer shell of an ammonite. It’s mainly mined in
Alberta and occassionally entire ammonites are recovered and polished.
Some are up to two feet in diameter and are breath taking, although a
bit heavy for a pendant. All Ammolite pieces are from ammonites, but
very few ammonites have gem quality outer shells. Both can be and
are used for jewelry. Small ammonites replaced with pyirite are
especially beautiful. Both the gem stones and the entire ammonites
can be seen at From this site you can
link to Canada Fossils, a sister company, which sells some complete,
gem quality, ammonites.

John McLaughlin
Glendale, Arziona


I have been purchasing, cutting and setting Ammolite gems for nearly
fifteen years now. I feel that they are an absolutely amazing gemstone
if handled properly. Being essentially fossilized mother of pearl it
must be treated as you would a rare and delicate fresh or saltwater
pearl. Ammolite and ammonites are related in that they both are the
fossilized remains of the ammonite species. When the ammonites would
die they would settle to the seabed and teir shell would be filled and
covered with mud. In rare instances the shell would be replaced by
irridescent minerals resulting in the creation of spectacular gems. I
have seen complete ammonite shells whose mother of pearl lining was
replaced in this manner almost 2 1/2 feet across. The name Ammolite
was chosen for the gem material as a marketing technique and to
indicate the source of the gemstone as a fossilized product. Some
stones are substantial enough to be cut and set without protective
measures as long as they are treated with the same care as a pearl
setting would be. Other stones require a doublet or triplet cap of
spinel or optical quartz to protect them. The gem material is usually
a thin layer less than 1/32 thick bonded to a sedimentary stone
matrix. The stuff has risen dramatically in price since I began buying
it fifteen years ago. It cuts and polishes very easily, taking care
not to cut through the color layer.


Ammonite is a fossilized sea creature similar to today’s Nautilus.
Ammolite is a trade name for the Gem material that is found in
southern Alberta? Ammolite is fragile and available in naturals or
with a quartz cap if the gem is to worn as a ring.

Below are some links if anyone is interested. Orgins Some Info
some grading Info
Some more info
An article from the Alberta Report Magazine More
Info Store More
info can be found at and searching for


Ammolite is a registered trade name for the ammonite mined in Canada
that has opal layers on it. They are one and the same thing except
the ammonite in Canada is unusual in having that opal layer. This
material is often backed, capped, stabilized in some way to make it
durable enough to use in jewelry.

Kitti @ @NFMSeditor