Ammolite is a biogenic gemstone, like pearl or amber, in that it is produced by biological processes. Ammolite is made up of the fossilized shells of now extinct ammonites, shelled sea creatures that used to thrive in the oceans of North America. With iridescent spectral colors, ammolite makes an exciting addition to any jewelry piece.
Found primarily in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States, ammolite didn’t gain popularity until the 1970’s, when it was first introduced to the market. Practitioners of Feng Shui helped promote ammolite as enhancing well-being and detoxification in the 1990’s, making Japan the strongest market for ammolite gems. Several indigenous North American tribes also make use of the revered gemstone.
In addition to being very rare, ammolite is relatively fragile, and so is not appropriate for everyday use. Pieces can vary in brilliance and color diversity, and naturally the most prized gems are those with the greatest brightness and most dramatic chromatic spectrums. In 2004, ammolite was given precious gemstone status, one of only three gems to be recognized in the last fifty years.