Hidden gem: Alberta reveals its newest emblem and it's colourful

Mar 17 2022, 9:04 pm

The government of Alberta is introducing a new official symbol of the province, and it’s one heck of a gem.

The province announced Thursday that ammolite will be designated as the official gemstone of Alberta.

“Found predominately in southern Alberta, ammolite is a gemstone that is uniquely associated with Alberta and is part of our provinceā€™s identity,” the province said in a news release.

Ammolite is an iridescent gemstone formed from the fossilizedĀ shells of molluscs known as ammonites that lived in an inlandĀ sea east of the Rocky Mountains. After sinking to the seabed, theĀ mud that covered ammonites hardened over millions of years toĀ become shale. The shell properties, combined with southernĀ Albertaā€™s unique geology, transformed many ammonite shells intoĀ the ammolite that is mined and used for jewellery today.

Alberta gem ammolite

Miroslav Halama/Shutterstock

ā€œAlberta is world renowned for its fossil resources. The designation of ammolite as Albertaā€™s official gemstone adds to this reputation, and speaks to the remarkable history of ancient life recorded in the rocks throughout the province.ā€ said Dr. Craig Scott, director of preservation and research, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, in a news release.

Alberta’s other emblems include the wildrose as the floral emblem, the great horned owl as the official bird, petrified wood as the official stone, the bull trout as the official fish, and the rocky mountain bighorn sheep as the official mammal of Alberta.

With company like that, this Alberta gem will fit right in!

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

+ News
+ Science