Ammolite vs. Ammonite

What's the Difference?

Ammolite and ammonite are two distinct but related natural formations. Ammolite is a gemstone formed from the fossilized shells of ammonites, which were ancient marine mollusks. While ammonites are the actual fossilized shells, ammolite is the gemstone that is cut and polished to reveal its vibrant and iridescent colors. Both ammolite and ammonite have a spiral shape, but ammolite is highly prized for its stunning play of colors, ranging from fiery reds and oranges to vibrant greens and blues. Ammonites, on the other hand, are valued for their historical and scientific significance as fossils, providing valuable insights into the Earth's ancient marine ecosystems.


FormationFrom the fossilized shells of ammonitesMarine mollusk with a coiled shell
Age65-70 million years oldAround 240-65 million years old
ColorsWide range including red, green, blue, and moreVaries, often shades of brown, gray, or black
TransparencyCan be transparent to opaqueUsually opaque
UsesJewelry, decorative itemsFossils, decorative items
ValueConsidered a valuable gemstoneValued as fossils, some rare specimens can be valuable

Further Detail


Ammolite and ammonite are two fascinating gemstones that share a common origin but possess distinct attributes. While both are derived from the fossilized remains of ancient marine creatures known as ammonoids, they differ in terms of their composition, coloration, rarity, and metaphysical properties. In this article, we will delve into the unique characteristics of ammolite and ammonite, shedding light on their individual allure and significance.


Ammolite and ammonite are composed of different minerals, resulting in their contrasting physical properties. Ammolite is primarily made up of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate, which gives it a vibrant iridescence. This iridescence is caused by the interference and diffraction of light as it passes through the thin layers of aragonite. On the other hand, ammonite is composed of calcite, another form of calcium carbonate, which lacks the same iridescent quality found in ammolite.


One of the most striking differences between ammolite and ammonite lies in their coloration. Ammolite exhibits a mesmerizing range of hues, including vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, greens, and blues. These colors are a result of the thin layers of aragonite refracting light at different wavelengths. The play of colors in ammolite is often compared to the beauty of opals. In contrast, ammonite fossils typically display more subdued colors, such as shades of brown, gray, and black. While ammonite may lack the vividness of ammolite, its natural patterns and earthy tones still hold a unique appeal.


When it comes to rarity, ammolite is considered one of the rarest gemstones in the world. It is estimated that less than 10% of ammonite fossils possess the necessary conditions to develop into gem-quality ammolite. This scarcity is due to specific geological factors, including the presence of a particular type of sedimentary rock and the right combination of temperature and pressure over millions of years. On the other hand, ammonite fossils are relatively more abundant, with various species found in different parts of the world. However, not all ammonite fossils have the potential to transform into gem-quality ammolite, making it a truly exceptional find.

Metaphysical Properties

Both ammolite and ammonite are believed to possess metaphysical properties that can enhance one's spiritual well-being. Ammolite is often associated with transformation, prosperity, and good luck. It is believed to stimulate the flow of life force energy, promoting vitality and abundance. Ammolite is also thought to aid in spiritual growth, helping individuals connect with their higher selves and access ancient wisdom. On the other hand, ammonite is associated with stability, grounding, and protection. It is believed to provide a sense of stability and balance, helping individuals navigate through life's challenges with resilience and strength.


Due to its vibrant colors and unique patterns, ammolite is highly sought after in the world of jewelry. It is often used as a centerpiece in pendants, earrings, and rings, where its iridescence can truly shine. Ammolite is also used in decorative objects, such as inlays and sculptures, adding a touch of natural beauty to various art forms. On the other hand, ammonite fossils are prized for their aesthetic appeal and historical significance. They are commonly used as display pieces, both in museums and private collections, showcasing the intricate spiral patterns and fossilized remains of these ancient creatures.


In conclusion, while ammolite and ammonite share a common origin as fossilized remains of ammonoids, they possess distinct attributes that set them apart. Ammolite's composition of aragonite grants it a vibrant iridescence and a mesmerizing range of colors, making it one of the rarest and most sought-after gemstones in the world. On the other hand, ammonite fossils, composed of calcite, exhibit more subdued colors but still hold their own unique appeal. Both gemstones are believed to possess metaphysical properties that can enhance one's spiritual well-being. Whether it's the allure of ammolite's iridescence or the historical significance of ammonite fossils, these gemstones continue to captivate and fascinate individuals around the globe.

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