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 province’s identity,” the province said in a news release.
Ammolite is an iridescent gemstone formed from the fossilized shells of molluscs known as ammonites that lived in an inland sea east of the Rocky Mountains. After sinking to the seabed, the mud that covered ammonites hardened over millions of years to become shale. The shell properties, combined with southern Alberta’s unique geology, transformed many ammonite shells into the ammolite that is mined and used for jewellery today.
“Alberta is world renowned for its fossil resources. The designation of ammolite as Alberta’s official gemstone adds to this reputation, and speaks to the remarkable history of ancient life recorded in the rocks throughout the province.” 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!