From the Upper Cretaceous, Bearpaw formation (75-72 million years ago), the 24½-inch specimen of Placenticeras meeki showing iridescence of red, green, yellow and orange to both sides, supported on custom stand.
20½in. (52cm.) diameter
24½ x 20 x 4in. (62 x 51 x 10cm.)
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
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The opal like iridescence of these ammonites from Alberta, Canada has been termed ammolite and since 1981 has had the status of a gemstone. The shimmering, metallic colours were caused by the combination of millions of years of compression and the mineralization of iron, copper and silica which precipitated from volcanic ash. The opalescent layers of colour are particularly prized in the Chinese philosophical system of Feng-Shui.
The ammonites are a group of molluscs that lived in the seas from the mid-Devonian (approximately 400 million years ago) to the end of the Cretaceous (65 million years ago). The sequence of events that famously killed off the dinosaurs also drove the ammonites to extinction
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