Ammolite is a brilliantly-colored gemstone with a beautiful iridescent sheen. This rare gemstone has a storied geological history and is commercially mined from just a single site along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada. Those fortunate enough to own a piece of ammolite jewelry possess a unique remnant of an ancient past. Read on to learn more.
The Geology of Ammolite
Ammolite is made from the fossilized shells of extinct marine organisms. The gemstone’s story begins 70 to 75 million years ago when the area east of the Rocky Mountains was flooded by an inland sea that connected the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico. The sea was teeming with life—sharks, bony fish, sea turtles, and nautilus-like creatures called ammonites (whose shells form the basis of ammolite) were among the sea’s inhabitants. When ammonites died their shells fell to the bottom of the seafloor, where many were preserved in sediments. Today, these shells are excavated from what is now called the Bearpaw Formation and transformed into spectacular jewelry.
How Ammolite Jewelry Is Made
The outer layer of ammolite produces the gemstone’s brilliant colors and is generally very thin—often less than one millimeter. To preserve the integrity of the stone, jewelers add a backing for stability and apply a transparent cover (usually of clear quartz or spinel) on top for additional protection—the result is a three-layered stone referred to as a “triplet.” Other stones require only a backing or a transparent cover and are referred to as “doublets.” Quality stones produce a vivid color display and feature strong iridescence that can be seen from a wide range of angles.
Rare, Unique Jewelry Pieces to Be Handed Down Through the Generations
Each ammolite gemstone is truly one-of-a-kind. Alaska Jewelry carries high-quality ammolite jewelry, including pieces made with all-natural Korite ammolite stones; Korite is a highly-regarded ammolite producer and is one of just two companies that operate mines in the Alberta formation.
The exquisite ammolite pieces on our site are created using the most advanced and durable stone preparation technology in the industry. Ideal for milestone anniversaries and other special occasions, these treasured pieces will be handed down from one generation to the next. Alaska Jewelry guarantees the quality of the jewelry on our site and offers generous warranties.