Ammonoid Fossil Jewelry

Photograph of ammonoid fossil

Polished ammonoid fossil

What is ammonite, and why is it in my jewelry?

Ammonoids (more commonly known as ammonites) are extinct marine invertebrate, which thrived in the Paleozoic and Mesozoic Eras, from 400 to 65 million years ago.

These types of fossils are more related to living Coleoids (Octopus, Squid, and Cuttlefish), than they are to the living Nautilus species which they appear to resemble.

Ammonoid fossil shells are usually discovered in spiral form, but a few helical-spiral and non-spiral forms have been unearthed.


This is what an ammonoid probably looked like.

Ammonid (ammonite) fossils are found all over the world, but most of ours are discovered in Madagascar.

Because different species of ammonites lived during different time periods, scientists can use these fossils to determine the relative age of the rocks in which they are found.

That is why ammonites are known as “index fossils”.

Since ammonites lived exclusively in water, their presence also indicates the location of prehistoric oceans.

Ammonoids are also known as ammonites because the name was inspired by the spiral shape of their fossilized shells, which resemble coiled rams’ horns.

In 79 AD. Pliny the Elder named these fossils Ammonis Cornua, meaning “Horns of Ammon”, because the Egyptian God Ammon was typically pictured with ram’s horns.

Often the name of an ammonite genus ends in -ceras, which is Greek (κέρας) for “horn”.


Ammonite types

Various ammonoid shapes
from “Kunstformen der Natur” (Artforms of Nature) by Ernst Haeckel 1899.

In medieval Europe, ammonite fossils were thought to be petrified coiled snakes, so were called “Snakestones” or “Serpentstones”.

They were thought to be evidence for the actions of saints such as Saint Hilda and Saint Patrick, and were trusted to have healing powers.

Traders would often carve or paint the head of a snake onto the empty end of an ammonoid fossil, and then offer them for sale to the public.

Ammonites found near the Gandaki river in Nepal are known as saligrams, and are believed by Hindus to be a manifestation of their God Vishnu.


Ammolite Gemstones

Iridescent ammonoid fossils are known as Ammolite. It is found primarily along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. It is one the rarest gemstones, rivaling the rarity of stones such as alexandrite and red diamonds. It is created of the fossilized shells of ammonites, which are primarily aragonite, the same mineral that is found in some types of pearl. Ammolite is one of several biogenic gemstones, in the same group as amber and pearl. In 1981, ammolite was given official gemstone status by the World Jewellery Confederation. That same year commercial mining of ammolite began. It was designated the official gemstone of the Province of Alberta in 2004 and the official gemstone of the City of Lethbridge in 2007.


Ammonite used in Jewelry

Today enlightened humans wear fossils as a means of staying young.

Even if you don’t feel the religious or healing powers held within ammonite, you can’t ignore it’s natural beauty.


Ammonite Jewelry is a great gift for anyone.


Jewelry made with ammonites is a great investment for your art jewelry collection.

See some of  the amazing ammonite jewlery that we have for sale today.


If you would like to know even more about the fossils that we use in our handmade jewlery, then I recommend this book.

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