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The Delicate and Prized Ammolite Jewelry
Do you want to wear something unique, yet beautiful and precious, as jewelry? Then ammolite jewelry will be an apt choice. Ammolite is a biogenic gemstone, which means that it is a resultant of life processes. It is made from fossilized ammonite shells. Ammolite is the officially accepted name for the material and the material was officially accepted as a gemstone by the World Jewelry Confederation in 1981. The gemstone is found in its largest amount in North America’s Rocky Mountains. Elsewhere too is found on earth, but in very small quantity. Thus ammolite is a rare gemstone.
Ammolite has similarity with opal, in that it is a soft stone, and with pearl, in that it is largely composed of aragonite. Therefore for its maintenance, you should take same precautions, which you take for your opals and pearls.
Ammolite manifests a variety of colors, i.e. almost all the visible colors seen in Nature. However red and green are commoner than purple or blue. The primary colors mix to show some other shades like crimson, violet and gold. These shades are the rarest and have the greatest demand.
Manifestation of Colors
The angle, in which one looks at ammolite and the light strikes it, determines the manifestation of its colors. When the stone is of higher quality, the colors are nearly prismatic, while lower quality stones don’t show much variation.
The brightness of ammolite depends on how carefully you maintain it and on the neatness and fineness of its aragonite layers. The highest quality ammolite is of sheet type and shows broad, unhindered folds of colors. The thickness of these layers is also important. Generally, this thickness is 0.1 to 0.3 mm after polishing.
Care of Ammolite Jewelry
- Don’t clean ammolite jewelry with ultrasonic cleaners.
- Don’t keep ammolite to soak in any sort of liquid.
- Don’t use any commercial jewelry cleaning agent unless you are sure that it suits pearls and/or opals. Don’t soak ammolite in such a liquid too.
- Don’t apply hairsprays or perfumes while you have worn ammolite.
- Don’t let ammolite expose to various chemical used in the household.
- The best way to clean ammolite jewelry is to keep it in a sac of soft cloth and dip the sac in a mixture of water and a commercial pearl cleaner or a mild soap and then rub the bag gently across the jewelry till it is clean. Do not keep the jewelry inside the liquid for over twenty minutes. After cleaning, the stone should be thoroughly washed with clean water to remove all the soap or cleaner. To dry the ammolite, gently wrap it with a towel to absorb the water, but don’t rub it with the towel.
Thus if you take appropriate care of your ammolite, you will be the proud owner of a unique and prized jewelry.
Cracking Open an Ammonite Nodule
Read about another interesting jewelry material in my hub about beads.