Korite is excited to have recently launched our hand specimens for sale on our website. These unique pieces of Ammonite fossil are over 71 million years old, emerging from ancient marine sediment that was once at the bottom of the Bearpaw Sea. Years ago the unique Bearpaw Sea connected the Gulf of Mexico and Hudson’s Bay, splitting North America into two halves. Today, Korite operates the largest active ammolite mine in the world, collecting most of our ammonites from the banks of the St. Mary River in southern Alberta, Canada just north of the Canada-USA border.
Ammonite fossils are found on every continent in the world but only in one small pocket of Southern Alberta, Canada, do you see a special type of preservation where the outer nacre is preserved and transformed into the stunning rainbow gemstone known as Ammolite. Some say the beauty of Canadian ammonites, ammolite hand specimens and the gemstone ammolite was formed by geological fluke; the perfect combination of the right type of Ammonite, buried quickly in just the right type of shale and soil, with just the right amount of heat, pressure and time, is what created the rarity of Alberta’s ammonite gemstone, Ammolite.
The colours present in Canadian ammonites and ammolite hand specimens are caused by light interference during refraction into the many layers of the fossil. Each colour in our Canadian ammonites represents a different layer of the gem material. So, depending on the number of fine layers in the nacre of the fossil, everything from one colour to the full visible spectrum will be displayed. The outer shell of the fossil works kind of like a prism breaking up white light so we perceive almost every colour of the visible spectrum. As the ammonite moves, the colours will change slightly as well. Blues are the rarest colours we find in our ammonites and are not very common in the smaller sized ammonites (less than 15cm.) The Canadian government considers these rare ammonites a national treasure. For that reason, all Canadian Ammonites are individually numbered and recorded in the provincial database. A cultural export permit is then required before these precious fossils are allowed to leave Canada.
Ammolite Hand Specimens
Ammolite hand specimens are simple but stunning pieces of colourful Canadian ammonites or pieces of their negative impressions (counter fossils). Ammolite hand specimens are referred to as “Ammolite rough” in some circles but what not everyone knows, is that they are in fact ammolite rough. These raw pieces of ammolite have been polished and made more beautiful, giving them stunning shelf appeal. Ammolites hand specimens can come in all shapes and sizes. The largest we have prepared to date was in excess of 65cm in diameter. Order your own ammolite hand specimen today!