One of the most widely known fossils, ammonites are eoliths of now-extinct marine molluscs called ammonoids. Due to the sheer number of ammonoids before they became extinct 65 million years ago, there are quite the abundance of fossils found today. The name ammonite comes from the god Ammon, who had spiral ram horns and was originally an Ethiopian or Libyan deity that later was worshipped all over Egypt and parts of Greece.
Ammonite Metaphysical Properties
It's no surprise that ammonites, with their spiral shape, are symbols of change and positive motion. The spiral draws in negative energy, filtering it through the chambers and releasing fresh, positive energy. Due to this connection with energy, ammonites have been used for activating Kundalini--the concept in Dharma that refers to primal energy (called shakti)--which coils at the base of the spine and is a source of life force or energy. Ammonites are associated with ancient knowledge, which makes sense considering how long these fossils have been around.
Ammonites are primarily associated with the third eye chakra, with a secondary in the root chakra. Though ammonite is not a birthstone, it has come to relate to the zodiac signs of Aquarius and Cancer. Ammonite fossils are believed to help with ailments like blood pressure and degenerative disorders, such as those affecting the ears and lungs.
Ammonite Geological Properties
Ammonite fossils have been found on every continent, in all sorts of sizes and in lots of colors, though the most common naturally occurring colors for these fossils are brown and grey. Ammonite fossils form when ammonoids died and their shells became embedded in sand or silt. The shell was protected from damage over time due to the forming layers. As the layers formed and created pressure on the shell, mineral-rich water would seep into the chambers and eventually crystallize into the rock-like fossil we find today. Ammonite can sometimes end up with a rainbow-like sheen on the surface, opalized or pyritized.
Calcium carbonate + impurities
Brown, grey, rarely other colors
3-1/2 to 4 (Mohs)
Proper Care of Ammonite
Despite lasting as long as the ammonite had to for fossilization and discovery, ammonites aren't particularly durable with a Mohs hardness of about 4. Only gentle cleaning methods of lukewarm water and mild soap are recommended. Dry the fossil with a soft cloth not impregnated with other cleaning agents. Store ammonites and ammonite jewelry away from harder materials in its own tray with a velveteen insert or a soft, velvet bag. If participating in rigorous physical activity, remove ammonite jewelry beforehand.
To learn more about ammonite and other gemstones, order your copy of Walter Schumann's revised and expanded edition of Gemstones of the World.
Designing with Ammonite
Since ammonite is an ancient fossil, it pairs perfectly with other naturally occurring unique-looking formations such as druzy. Combine ammonite with other earth-toned gemstones with fossils such as fossil coral or fossil agate for a natural, neutral color palette. Try using other fossils such as shark teeth, orthoceras or septarian to really play up the ancient aspect. Ammonites are ideal for use as necklace pendants and drops in earrings rather than bracelets or rings where they are more likely to sustain damage.
**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.
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