What extinct sea creature is popular with rock and mineral collectors and can be found fossilized in nautilus shape form? You guessed it—it’s an ammonite! Ammonite fossils are amongst the most beautiful rock and mineral collector’s items, and despite their abundance the rarest pieces are truly spectacular finds–like a diamond in the rough.
We at Rockology have unearthed the history, the facts and the most significant qualities collectors find in ammonite fossils. So what is it about ammonites that catches your eye, and what exactly is so fancy about a nautilus shell?
- The Age
- The Shape
- The Color and Size
- The Extra Minerals Inside
Ammonites are ancient cephalopods or squid-like creatures that lived inside of the shells you see leftover with each fossil–sealed in a permanent state after millions of years of geologic time lapse.
Millions of years ago, it was Alive
Ammonite fossils are the remnants of ancient marine animals. Ammonites range on the geologic timeline from an earlier epoch, and evolved out of a stage of marine life in the “Age of Fishes” or the Devonian Period all the way back some 400 million years ago.
Back when ammonites populated the oceans, you would be able to spot one of these marine creatures from afar simply for it’s great size—these shelled invertebrates would’ve seemed giant up to three feet (one meter) across! Since these early days, ammonites were abundant in ocean waters up to about 65 million years ago, when they became extinct in step with the End Cretaceous catastrophe that killed off the dinosaurs. After this point, ammonites disappeared from the ocean scenes.
If holding an extinct marine animal that originated tens of millions of years ago in your hand is not reason enough to treasure such a find, remember that it totally had its day. Ammonites are fun for collectors because they are real living creatures that once roamed the Earth, and at a time when the surface was almost unrecognizable to the one we humans know today.
Nautilus Shells are Sacred Geometric Shapes
Why collect fossilized ammonites or nautilus shells? Some have never given a second though to the shape of a nautilus, but in fact, it is one of the most well-known shapes to reflect a geometric symmetry known as the “golden ratio”. This golden ratio—also named the “golden section”—is famous with artists, musicians, architects and designers who use symmetry to promote aesthetic appeal in created works.
Great master artists like Leonardo Da Vinci used this ratio to apply “golden rectangles” to paintings to promote beauty with natural symmetry. This number is literally the epitome of natural beauty in that its symmetry is considered perfection in nature—it’s also called phi (1.618).
Therefore, nautilus shells—which repeat the continuous spiraling shape of the golden ratio—are considered a reflection of concordant creation, which is named by some as the definition of “sacred symmetry”. Thus, the Ammonite Fossil is a shape of pure natural wonder and beauty, and some even may call it divine.
Ammonite Septa Distinguish the Shell
What makes the shell of the ammonite much more intriguing than ordinary nautiloids is the intricate inner chambers distinguished by the septa patterns that are also found repeated on the exterior shell. Ammonite fossils have a more pronounced pattern of feathered lines and fern patterns that you won’t find with other fossils.
Benefits and Uses
Because of the natural harmony of their shape, many carry ammonite shells as talismans of concordant lifestyles. When you want things just to settle back into harmony, the ammonite fossil is the right piece to accomplish this. Many carry ammonites to promote self-evolution, harmonious changes and ward off any excess negativity as a nautilus shape filters this bad energy. These little fossils are known to attract success, prosperity and act as powerful feng shui tools in the home. Decorate with ammonite fossils to put the whole room at ease.
With such wonderful qualities and significance in nature, why not add some ammonite fossils to your collection? For more information on popular fossils, rocks and minerals for rock collectors, get your copy of our free ebook Rocks 101.
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