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    Description

    LARGE PRECIOUS GEM AMMONITE
    Placenticeras meeki
    Upper Cretaceous
    Bearpaw formation, Alberta, Canada

    Gem ammolite ammonites are amongst the most beautiful of all fossils, and presented here is a superb example. The incredible iridescent colors that shimmer throughout the shell were naturally created by the combination of millions of years of compression and the mineralization of iron, copper and silica which precipitated from the bentonite sediment of volcanic ash. In most cases elsewhere, the aragonite-rich nacre (mother-of-pearl) of the ammonite's shell is pseudomorphously replaced by calcite or pyrite, but in the small Bearpaw formation, stretching over parts of Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the ammonite's shell becomes tainted with trace elements such as manganese, strontium, titanium, barium and others, manifested in the dazzling colors displayed here. The resulting gemstone is called ammolite, although it is known to the Káínawa, or Blood Tribe, of southern Alberta as aapoak ("small, crawling stone") and to the Blackfeet Indians of Montana as iniskim ("buffalo stone") and has long been believed to have amuletic powers of use in healing and in attracting buffalo. Practitioners of feng shui and crystal metaphysics value it as the Kirin stone, or seven-color prosperity stone, and believe it to be useful in detoxifying the body and promoting energy flow and prosperity. This is an example of fine size, 17 inches across, displaying both full-body three-dimensionality as well as the characteristic flattening in one area caused by the immense pressures of fossilization. Both sides retain excellent coverage of the dazzling array of iridescent colors - fiery red, shimmering green, and the rare and bewitching deep blue/purple.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    18th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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