Celebrating Ammolite on Canada Day

Ammolite Hand Specimen New Arrivals

71 Million years of Canadian History in the palm of your hand.

This Canada day we have decided to launch a special capsule of Canadian Ammolite hand specimens for purchase on our website. Each red Ammolite piece we feel aptly captures the energy and vibrance of Canada. KORITE has been almost exclusively mining Ammolite since 1979, and are proud to continue to be the worlds foremost supplier of the rare iridescent gemstone only found outside of Lethbridge Alberta.

Ammolite is Canada’s Gemstone – One of Nature’s Rarest Gems. As beautiful as it is scarce, its iridescent colours glow with the beauty of the rainbow, and each Ammolite Gem is unique in its brilliance, colour, and pattern.

A little bit of Canadian Pre-History

Ammolite formed from a rare, mineralized fossil called an Ammonite. 70+ Million years of tectonic pressure created this beautiful gem from the fossilized remains of the Ammonite. The Pre-historic cephalopods known as Ammonites swam in the Bearpaw Sea, part of the Western Interior seaway - an ocean existing on the now continental divide between what is now known as British Columbia and Alberta.

Canadian Ammolite History | Bearpaw Sea 2

“Map of North America with the Western Interior Seaway during the Campanian (Upper Cretaceous)” by Scott D. Sampson, Mark A. Loewen, Andrew A. Farke, Eric M. Roberts, Catherine A. Forster, Joshua A. Smith, Alan L. Titus licensed under CC by 4.0

Long extinct the Ammonite fossilized in the Bearpaw formation of Late Cretaceous age – located in the foothills of the rocky mountains – with the vast majority of usable Ammolite covered Ammonites coming along the shores of the St. Mary’s River section of the formation.

Ammolite in Canada | Bearpaw formation Map

Mychaluk, K.A.; Levinson, A.A. & Hall, R.H. "Ammolite: Iridescent fossil ammonite from southern Alberta, Canada" (PDF). Gems & Gemology. 37 (1): 4–25. doi:10.5741/GEMS.37.1.4. Retrieved June 17, 2021.

The first known mention of Ammolite (Buffalo Stone or Iniskim) in human history is credited to the Blackfoot Tribe of North America who revere the stone. You can read more about the Legend of the buffalo stone in a dedicated post published mid June.

Ammolite Buffalo Stone | Iniskim

After which point, it was not until 1908 that a member of the National Geological Survey provided the first descriptions of Ammolite and Canadian Ammonites along the St. Mary’s River in Alberta. Following this, a flood of experimentation with the stone occurred culminating in the founding of KORITE in 1979.

In 1981, Ammolite was officially designated a precious gemstone by the CIBJO. Ammolite is the last of the gemstones accepted in the past 300 years and amongst the rarest, placing it alongside its peers Opal, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald.

Today we celebrate the truly unique and wonderous stone that we call Ammolite, and the Canadian heritage to which it belongs with the launch of five one of a kind red hand specimens mined along the St. Mary’s River. Head over to the Hand Specimen shop to browse the latest additions of Ammolite just added.

 Canada Day Hand Specimens