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Mounting Ammolite


#1

Hi everyone: I have just become the proud owner of a bunch of
ammolite. Some pieces have the rarest colour of violet. They are all
sizes and colours. My questions is do I mount the ones that have a
shale backing as a cabachon or do I wire wrap them or even create a
gold or silver setting? I also have double sided ammolite that I am
sure I will be wire wrapping as both sides can be shown. I have about
240 pieces of it. For those of you who do not know what ammolite is
it is the rarest stone on earth only available in Alberta and upper
Montana (I believe) Google them, they are a beautiful stone. I
appreciate your input right now I am just sitting mesmorized by all
the colour.

Leslie


#2

Hi Leslie;

For those of you who do not know what ammolite is it is the rarest
stone on earth 

I don’t know how rare they are, but theyare beautiful and they can
be very pricey. And they are just about the easiest stone to damage
while setting I’ve ever worked with, right up there with Flourite
(sp?).

David L. Huffman


#3

I have prong set ammolite, in both silver & gold. To much or uneven
pressure & they delaminate over time. They are NOT ultrasonic safe!

Good Luck, the learning curve is not that hard.
Mark Chapman


#4

Thanks for that. They are considered the rarest stone (natural) on
the planet as it is only found on the eastern side of the Rockie
Mountains and there are only 3 mines in the world. 2 in Alberta and
1 in the US. They are pricey but very much in demand. I have AAA
(highest) grade of them and also the rarest colours - the violet
(rarest) gold and magenta. On one piece alone you can see the green,
red, orange, purple, gold, magenta and the violet (that piece is
mine) The others are all AAA (meaning more than two colours) So I
have their worth but I want to mount them into rings (risky)
pendants (probably the best bet) and earrings. I do know you do not
mount them into bracelets unless you put a doublet coating on them
and then that destroys the major value. I just sit here and imagine
all the possibilities but am afraid to start.


#5

Haven’t been following this thread very well. I guess technically
you could say ammolite is a stone. It is the fossil shell of an
animal related to the chambered nautilus…sort of a squid with a
shell. But what a shell!! a fiery blend that far excells abalone!

Rose Alene


#6

You want the real rare stuff, do a google search on Benetoite. One
mine, in California, and it’s closed. Lovely blue stone with a
natural crystal shaped like a trillion cut gem. Fluoresces a nice
blue under blacklight too. I’d be willing to bet that it’s rarer than
something I’ve seen for under $100 in at least two well stocked rock
shops. It is interesting and lovely stuff, just not the rarest stone
on earth. I LOVE advertising exaggerations.

(I am of course leaving alone rare stones and minerals not useful
for jewelry.)

LJ @ 16 degrees Fahrenheit in NC where it should be much warmer.


#7

The “rarest stone”? I have doubts. I’ve seen lots of ammolite but
benitoite is really rare (and lovely also). As far as I know, there
was only one source of the gem and the mine, in central California,
has been closed. I imagine there are many, many stones out there that
are very rare.

Marianne Hunter
www.hunter-studios.com


#8

Leslie,

Some pieces have the rarest colour of violet. They are all sizes
and colours. My questions is do I mount the ones that have a shale
backing as a cabachon or do I wire wrap them or even create a gold
or silver setting? 

Congratulations on acquiring your ammolite. Colors and play of light
are amazing on the best specimens, and photographs cannot begin to
give it justice. In my experience, ammolite is prone to splitting if
any uneven pressure is placed against the side of the stone. The
actual layer that gives the color and light refraction is only 0.1 to
0.3 mm thick, and is around Mohs hardness 4. It is bonded to a dark
base layer of shale, onyx or glass. A coating of spinel, corundum or
quartz is usually applied to make it durable, but there is still
vulnerability to splitting, especially if the coating is thin. The
most conservative setting technique is using a thin bezel, using
special care with the burnisher when bringing down the rim. I would
caution against prongs or wire wrapping, which would concentrate
pressure on a few spots, making it likely to get flaking of the
outer layer. You’ll know you’re done for immediately as that color
and vibrancy turns dull and brown and starts to propagate across the
surface. A little trivia…ammonites (note spelling) are fossilized
shells of organisms related to the nautilus, found in sedimentary
deposits over the world. Ammolite is the gemstone variety, limited
mostly to Alberta, Canada, where mineral composition of the sediment
favors the brilliant colors. The Korite company mines and produces
most of these

Regards,
Ted