Friday, March 26, 2010

Ammolite---The Story.



Once upon eons ago, North America did not exist as we know it today. Instead there was a mighty sea that cut most of modern North America in half, north to south.

In this mighty sea roamed the ancient Ammonite, a squid like creature that lived in a shell shaped much like a ram’s horn.

Records show that this creature lived from 100 million years ago until about 70 million years ago at which time some cataclysmic event caused their extinction. The mighty inland sea bed was littered with the shells of ammonites which were gradually covered by sediments and then subjected to all the pressures that deeply buried materials go through in the process of forming rock and fossils.

Now, the Ammonite was living all over the world prior to its extinction and much of it would be preserved as rather dull coloured fossils and would be unearthed as such in many spots on the globe.

In one tiny spot on the globe, in Canada, in the province of Alberta within sight of the majestic Rockies and just north of the Montana border, there was something special about the Ammonites slumbering in the shale along the St Mary River. Nature had, with the help of just the perfect combinations of pressure, heat, time and minerals, created the most rare and amazingly beautiful precious stone in the world.

These ammonites had fossilized and become one with their host shale rock host to create the most colourful and varied gem material on the planet.

And only in this small spot.

Mankind had discovered the stone earlier on as ancient aboriginal legends tells of how the stone had mighty hunting medicine associated with it. Ancient hunters added it to their talismans to ensure that they could locate and successfully hunt buffalo.

The beauty of the stone was remarked on by early explorers but it wasn’t until the 1980’s that local Alberta entrepreneurs realized that this stone was of gem quality and efforts got under way to mine and process it as actual gem stones for jewelry. In 1981 the gem was recognized as such by the CIBjO [Coloured Stones Commission] and in 1985 by the province of Alberta as its official gemstone.

The world’s rarest and most colourful gemstone had arrived and it was to be known as Ammolite.

Today there are just two recognized and legal gem mining companies in operation, both of which produce fine gem stones. There are also fine stones produced by a small group of others who have legal claims operating in the gem zone although their production is quite small.

Ammolite is mined by small open pit mining digs where the material is unearthed and sorted. Most of the material is unusable as gem material and only a small fraction of that makes it to the cutting tables.

Ammolite is said to be in very short supply and once the material along the St.Mary area is exhausted, there is no other known commercially viable gem quality material deposits known to exist.

This limited supply has created upward pressure on prices. The main producer, Korite international reports that Ammolite prices have increased by 250% in the last 10 years to 2008

Ammolite has a curious effect on humans the first time they see it and only a small fraction of humanity has seen it so far. Many just have to possess it! Few can ignore it!

1 comment:

  1. The details of the rare species of gemstones which is really amazing and impressive. Thank you so much. Astrology consultation Coimbatore | Pancharatna gems Coimbatore