Ammolite History

Ammolite History

2021 Mar 10th

The Blackfoot people have known about iridescent ammonite fossils for hundreds of years. They called the material "Iniskim" (meaning "buffalo stone") and used it as a talisman.

Scientists from the Canadian Geological Survey described iridescent ammonite shells in 1908, but the first exhibition of iridescent ammonite in lapidary projects did not occur until 1962, when cut gems were mounted in jewelry and exhibited in a small gem show in Nonton, Alberta.

In 1967, Marcel Charbonneau, owner of a Calgary rock shop, began assembling doublets of iridescent ammonite shell on matrix with a clear quartz cover and calling them "Ammolite." The material quickly became popular. In 1981, Ammolite was recognized as a gemstone by CIBJO Colored Stones Commission, and in 2004 it was named as the official gemstone of the Province of Alberta. The Colored Stones Commission brought international attention to Ammolite, and its becoming the "Official Alberta Gemstone" produced enormous local popularity.

Today, mines in the Bearpaw Formation. is one of the few companies in the world, whose mine produces gem-quality Ammolite.

Please check out our amazing collection of Ammolite Gemstones, Ammolite Jewelry, and rare Ammonite fossils at