A lot of people want to know if ammolite comes out of the ground looking like it does when they see it set as a natural pendant. The short answer is yes - Mother Nature really did make it that bright and shiny. The long answer is that Mother Nature made it bright and shiny, but man had to help it get out of the protective coat that Mother Nature sealed it into for so many years.
While the protective coating of shale/clay/etc is probably what preserved the ammonite shell and created the gem ammolite, getting it off so that we can see the ammolite is a tedious and time consuming project that requires skill and patience - especially when dealing with an entire ammonite fossil.
The following pictures, courtesy of lizardbackammolite, show an ammolite fairly fresh out of the ground and its progression to a finished fossil. This fossil is from the blue zone and side 1 took approximately 6 weeks to complete.
An ammonite fossil as it came out of the ground.
An ammonite fossil fairly fresh out of the ground, with just a few areas teased off to start showing the ammolite gem underneath.
Side 2 of the fossil, with some larger patches of ammolite starting to show.
A close up of the ammolite patches.
Side 1 of the ammonite fossil, with a lot of ammolite teased into view.
A closeup of the edge.
Side 1 is almost done!
Side 1 of the ammonite fossil is now showing all of its wonderful ammolite gem coating.
Side 2 - partially complete.
Side 2 - complete.
Completed Fossil - Both Sides.
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