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    Placenticeras meeki
    Upper Cretaceous
    Bearpaw formation, Alberta, Canada

    Gem ammonites are among the most sought-after of all fossils, and the present specimen is among the finest example. It is extremely rare that both sides of the ammonite are almost completely covered in bright, vibrant colors - and this specimen is one of those rare exceptions. One side displays a rainbow of opalescent colors of fiery red, flashing green and glittering golden yellow and even displays rare iridescent colors of blue and turquoise, while the reveres is predominantly the most desirable of reds with highlights of yellow and green. This rainbow spectrum is characteristic of only the most desirable examples, and it is extremely rare to find all of these attributes in a single ammonite of this prestigious size of 20 ½ inches in diameter.

    The beautiful 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. In the Bearpaw formation, stretching over parts of Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan, however, the ammonite's shell becomes tainted with trace elements such as manganese, strontium, titanium, barium and others, manifested in the dazzling colors displayed here. 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. In 1981 it was accorded gemstone status by the World Jewelry Confederation; unlike other gemstones, however, whose brilliance is caused by light reflected from the surface, the shimmering and ever-changing colors of ammolite are the result of light refracting through and rebounding from the thin platelets of aragonite in the shell.

    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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    17th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,487

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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