Ammolite Pendant Necklace
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Ammolite is a fossil gemstone composed of ammonite shells which have undergone a process of mineralization preserving and intensifying the natural aragonite in the shell, which produces the vivid iridescent sheen. It is found almost exclusively in the Bearpaw Formation of southern Alberta, Canada.
This pendant necklace features an ammolite fossil, approximately 1/2 to 3/4-inch (~1 to 1.5cm) in size. The ammolite is displayed in a custom-made, sterling silver bezel which is strung on a box-style chain. The chain measures 18-inches (~45cm) and is also made of sterling silver. The complete necklace comes in a decorative box and includes a small information card about the specimen.
Please Note: The shape, size, and iridescent sheen will vary widely on this item as each fossil is a unique creature and the process of mineralization is far from uniform.
"Three times during their reign of more than 300 million years, ammonites experimented with the most bizarre and startling shell shapes." ~ Wolfgang Grulke, author of "Heteromorph: The Rarest Fossil Ammonites"
Ammonites are an extinct group of cephalopods which entered the fossil record 400 million years ago. They survived several mass extinction events, including the Permian–Triassic "Great Dying" which wiped out 96% of all marine species. They finally succumbed during the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago, which also wiped out the dinosaurs.
The size of ammonite shells range from sub-centimeter dwarf species to giants nearly three meters in diameter. Most iconic shells exhibit a nearly perfect logarithmic spiral.
The main property of a logarithmic spiral is that the shape of the spiral is unaltered as it increases in size. Each turn is a pure geometrical progression of the last with a common ratio. This form is found in many natural phenomena, from the shape of galaxies to patterns on sunflower heads.
Many thousands of distinct species make up the long-lived ammonoid clade. Though most ammonite shells are the classic spiral, there are also straight and gastropod-like shells and even some shells that are partially uncoiled. The surface of the shells also vary quite widely from smooth to wildly thorny.
How these creatures lived is of intense interest to science as ammonites likely played a vital role in the food chain in the ancient seas. Evidence exists to suggest that ammonites were a prime food source for Mosasaurs and fishes, while other studies suggest the "bite marks" were created after death by limpets or even by other cephalopods.
Aside from their complex shells, there is little direct evidence regarding the appearance of ammonites due to the absence of soft tissue fossils. However, many scientists believe ammonites had bodies similar to that of the present-day Nautilus.