Ammolite – Colorful Gemstone of Alberta Canada

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Ammolite is a gemstone made from fossilized shells of the extinct ammonite mollusks, squid-like creatures, found primarily in Southern Alberta. The shells could grow to as large as 1 meter (39 inches) in diameter.

Wouldn’t it be wild to find one of these amazing mollusks while out hiking in Alberta?! Alas, ammolite is not so common.

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Aragonite mineral - ammonite mollusks - ammolite gem of Southern Alberta

Ammolite – fossilized shell of extinct ammonite mollusks – Glenbow Museum in Calgary Alberta


Where does Ammolite exist?

Ammolite is rare and the only known source for ammolite is the Bearpaw Formation in Southern Alberta. More specifically ammolite exists along the St Mary River where commercial operations mine for ammolite.

Korite is a trade name for ammolite, due to marketing by the mining company Korite International Ltd.


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Ammolite close-up of the extinct ammolite mollusk - Glenbow Museum in downtown Calgary Alberta

Ammolite close-up of an ammonite fossil – Glenbow Museum in Calgary Alberta


What is ammolite value?

Like diamonds ammolite value depends on certain qualities. There is no standard set of rules but most grading systems rate color, brightness, and iridescence in order to value ammolite.

Colorful gemstones are the most common use of ammolite. And Feng Shui practitioners refer to it as the “Seven Color Prosperity Stone”. That’s a little too woo-woo for me but the colors are pretty!


Ammolite stone from fossilized ammonite shells - Glenbow Museum in downtown Calgary Alberta

Ammolite stone at Calgary Glenbow Museum


I took these photos of ammolite during my recent visit to Calgary Alberta in July. Touring around the Glenbow Museum in downtown Calgary is a great way to spend an afternoon. The museum has an impressive collection of minerals including gems, crystals, metals, and fluorescent minerals.

I grew up in Calgary and every year our school took field trips to the Glenbow Museum but I don’t recall viewing the mineral collection so it was interesting to view all of the fascinating samples. The ammolite really caught my eye because the colors are so vibrant and they do seem a bit magical.

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling solo around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 5 of a solo road trip around the USA and Canada, living a nomadic life, and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

11 Replies

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  1. Leslie says:

    Wow! Those are awesome shots!

    abcw team

  2. Hildred says:

    What a beautiful inheritance we have from ancient times.

  3. the closeups are particularly beautiful!

  4. Laurie Kazmierczak says:

    Those are terrific, thanks for sharing♪

  5. Reader Wil says:

    I didn’t know that nature could create such beauty! This is absolutely stunning! Almost. not real!
    Thanks for showing, Susan

  6. Tina says:

    it looks so beautiful

  7. Linda aka Crafty Gardener says:

    So colourful and beautiful

  8. Diane Westwell says:

    Such beautiful colours great shots too ! My first husband’s family came from Edmonton Alberta, I believe it is a lovely place. They are ranchers and live out in the wilds, sure have an interesting lifestyle,
    Best wishes,

    • It’s beautiful country around Edmonton – a friend of mine recently showed me photos of a trip from Banff to Jasper and onward to Edmonton – gorgeous scenery all along the way!

  9. I love looking at unusual gemstones. It would be such fun to find one when out hiking.

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