This pair of earrings features Ammonite fossil framed in silver with a sparkling blue faceted Apatite bead. As explained below each earring uses half of the fossil Ammonite, the front half all shiny and polished and the back natural and organic. The fossil and the Apatite bead dangle from a sturdy U shaped sterling silver ear hook. Distinctly different!
Ammonites are extinct mollusks, related to modern day squids and octopuses. They were abundant in the Devonian seas some 400 million years ago. Then, as with the dinosaurs they became extinct some 65 million years ago. The familiar spiral pattern is seen when the Ammonite fossil is cut lengthwise in half and polished to be used in jewelry. Gem quality Ammonite fossils are often iridescent. The name Ammonite is derived from the spiral shaped ram's horn associated with the Egyptian God Ammon or Amun. The soft-bodied animal lived in the outer larger chambers of the shell, while the older smaller chambers, which as it outgrew them, were walled off and filled with gas to provide buoyancy for movement in the ocean.
Ammonite fossils are quite abundant in Europe, Canada, and found also in Madagascar and even in Nepal. The are valuable to geologists as 'index fossils' as they help date the rock layers in which they are found. They are also known as 'snake stones' or serpent stones' as medieval Europeans thought they were coiled snakes. In Nepal, they are sacred and worshipped as a manifestation of the Hindu God Vishnu.
Apatite is a natural gemstone, ranging in color from light purple to green to neon blue to almost colorless. The name comes from the Greek word 'apate' meaning to deceive, as the gemstone is often mistaken for Tourmaline, Peridot or Beryl. It is found in Burma (Myanmar), India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico, and in the USA. It is a soft gemstone and Apatite jewelry should be treated with care. Natural healers believe that Apatite enhances the wearer's concentration and brings clarity of thought to improve communication skills.
Length: about 2.25 inches from your piercing.
Bead size: 23 x 28 mm ( 0.9 x 1.1 inch) Ammonite fossil; 3 x 4 mm Apatite bead.
Care: Clean with soft fabric, or non-abrasive polishing cloth. Avoid direct contact with perfumes, hairspray, and deodorants. Jewelry should be worn after application of cosmetics. Store wrapped in soft fabric or sealed in plastic bag.
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Photographs by Michael Santerre.
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