Ammolite is the gemstone derived from the fossilized shell of the ammonite species Placenticeras Meeki, and Placenticeras Intercalare. These ancient creatures lived in a shallow inland sea in what is now southern Alberta, Canada. When they died, their shells were deposited in the sediment on the sea floor. Over a period of 70 million years, tectonic pressure and mineralization transformed them into the beautiful spectrochromatic material we now recognize as ammolite.
Much has been made of its Native American heritage and its Feng Shui and healing properties, but the fact is that ammolite, Canada’s contribution to the world of gemstones, is as rare, unique and beautiful as any stone the world has to offer. Being an organic gem that rivals the beauty of the finest opals, it truly stands alone.
Spectrolite, the most valued type of Labradorite, comes from Finland. The name is derived from Labrador which is the main and original source of the Canadian variety of this feldspar stone. It occurs in metamorphic or igneous rocks in Labrador (Canada), Finland, Madagascar, Australia, Mexico, Norway, what used to be known as the USSR and the USA. The most spectacular rocks come from Finland and Madagascar.
Spectrolite is a trade name for Labradorite found in Finland. Lesser rocks come from the USA and Mexico. The main source is Labrador, Canada for which it is named.
It’s main characteristic is the “Labradorescence” that makes it more valuable.
Bertrandite was named after Leon Bertrand, a French mineralogist, and is one of the more important ores of beryllium, second only to beryl. Bertrandite is closely tied to the gemstone mineral beryl in many ways besides its use as an ore for the same metal. The two are often associated together as bertrandite is an alteration product of beryl. At times bertrandite is growing on beryl crystals and at other times bertrandite has completely replaced the beryl crystals forming a pseudomorph.
A pseudomorph is an atom by atom replacement of one mineral for another; replacing the chemistry and structure with a new mineral, but preserving the outward shape of the original crystal. Pseudomorph mean false shape. Bertrandite is found in beryllium bearing pegmatitic rocks and some hydrothermal veins.
Pietersite was discovered by Sid Pieters in 1962 while he was prospecting some farmland in Namibia, Africa. After his discovery, he registered the find in the mineral records of Britain. His discovery was published in 1964, and the material was named pietersite.
Currently there are only two known sources of pietersite; China and Africa. These two forms of pietersite are similar but still somewhat different from each other. The Chinese pietersite’s fibrous mineral is a magnesium-rich alkalic amphibole. The African (Namibian) variety is mainly crocidolite. Colors include various blues, golds and reds, that may appear together or alone.
Blue is the rarest color, followed by red. The blues range from a baby blue to dark midnight hue. Golds can be light to very deep and rich, sometimes having a reddish hue. All fibrous color variations will have a superb and striking chatoyancy, the bright and subtly changing shimmer of color that moves along the surface of a gemstone as it is viewed from varying angles.
Aquamarine is Latin for sea water. Aquamarine is emerald’s most famous sister. It is simply a different color variety of the mineral beryl. Greenish-blue to bluish-green beryl is called aquamarine.
The advances of modern technology have made it possible, and very common, for aquamarine to be heat-treated to drive the green out of the stone and leave a more pleasing blue. This is a permanent treatment and has become accepted in the jewellery industry.
Fine Aquamarines are valued for their pure tone of color, crisp transparency and brilliant internal reflections. It’s beautiful sparkling color has entranced people for thousands of years.