Iridescent Fossilized Ammonite Snakestone Gem Jurassic Cretaceous 200 Million BC

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,531) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 382480099390 Iridescent “Mother of Pearl” Ammonite “Serpentstone” Pendant and Chain. CLASSIFICATION: Ancient Fossilized Ammonite (of Jurassic or Cretaceous Origin, Between 65 and 200 Million Years Old. SIZE/MEASUREMENTS: Length: 34 millimeters (1 3/8 inches). Breadth: 26 millimeters (1 inches). Thickness: 7 millimeters (1/4 inch). Weight: 12.69 grams. Chain: Contemporary silver electroplate 60 centimeters (24 inches). A wide variety of other chains are available upon request in sizes from 16 to 30 inches, and in metals ranging from gold and silver electroplate to sterling silver and solid 14kt gold as well as a bronze-toned copper chain. The default chain (absent contrary instructions) is silver electroplate, 24 inches. We also have available handcrafted Greek black leather cords. DETAIL: A gemstone-quality, fossilized ammonite with remnant mother-of-pearl iridescence originating from the original 200 million year old shell. Ammonites are an extinct group of marine animals which flourished in earth’s oceans from the early Jurassic to the early Cretaceous, approximately 200-65 million years ago. The early Jurassic was known as “The Age of Reptiles”, and the beginning of the period was at the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event, approximately 199.6 million years ago, when over half the life forms on the planet (both on land and in the oceans) were wiped out in a major extinction event. Researchers believe the extinction was brought about by a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, brought about by world-wide volcanic out-gassing. It is believed that a similar event caused the “Great Dying” at the end of the Permian Period, which occurred about 251 millions years ago, the largest extinction event known to science, wherein about 75% of all life on land, and 95% of all life in the oceans, died off in a huge extended extinction which seems to have occurred in several “pulses” which stretched over a period of at least 50,000, maybe even a million or more years. The Triassic-Jurassic extinction event 50 million years later was much more abrupt, happening in less than 10,000 years. It occurred just before Pangaea (the landmass of earth’s single super-continent) started to break apart to eventually form the continents familiar to modern humans. In any event, on land this mass-extinction event allowed dinosaurs to assume the role of a dominant life form, over the reptiles which had reigned supreme during the Triassic. In earth’s oceans, as new life forms arose to take the place of those extinct, the ammonite (see artist’s depiction here) was to become one of the ocean’s dominant species. The Ammonites were a significant life form in the planet’s oceans for some 135 million years, from the beginning of the Jurassic through the end of the Cretaceous period (about 65 million years ago). The Cretaceous was a period with a relatively warm climate and high sea levels. The lands were populated by dinosaurs, new groups of mammals and birds as well as flowering plants. The oceans and seas were populated with now extinct marine reptiles, ammonites and rudists (box, tube or ring shaped marine bivalves that arose during the Jurassic and became so diverse during the Cretaceous that they were major reef-building organisms in the ancient Tethys Ocean). The Cretaceous ended with one of the largest mass extinctions in Earth history, the K-T extinction, when many species, including the dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and large marine reptiles, disappeared. Scientists theorize that the K–T extinctions were caused by one or more catastrophic events, such as massive asteroid impacts (like the Chicxulub impact, see image here), and/or increased volcanic activity. Several impact craters and massive volcanic activity, such as that in the Deccan traps (one of the largest volcanic features on Earth, multiple layers of solidified lava fields more than a mile (2 kilometers) thick, covering an area of 500,000 square kilometers/200,000 square miles) have been dated to the approximate time of the extinction event. These geological events, both the asteroid impact and the volcanic eruptions, may have reduced sunlight and hindered photosynthesis, leading to a massive disruption in Earth's ecology. In any event, the KT boundary also marks the extinction of the ammonite, our little friend here. The closest living relative of the Ammonites is not the modern Nautilus which they somewhat outwardly resemble, but rather octopus, squid, and cuttlefish. Their name came from their spiral shape as their fossilized shells somewhat resemble tightly-coiled rams' horns. Pliny the Elder (Roman naturalist and historian who died at Pompeii during/after the eruption of Vesuvius which buried Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 A.D.) called fossils of these animals ammonis cornua ("horns of Ammon") because the Egyptian god Ammon (Amun) was typically depicted wearing ram's horns. In medieval Europe, fossilized ammonites were thought to be petrified snakes, and were called "snakestones" or, more commonly in medieval England, "serpentstones". Ammonites are believed by Hindus to be a manifestation of Vishnu. Ammonites could grow quite large, up to about 2½ meters (eight feet) in diameter. The soft body of the creature occupied the largest segments of the shell at the end of the coil. The smaller earlier segments were walled off and the animal could maintain its buoyancy by filling them with gas. Because ammonites and their close relatives are extinct, little is known about their way of life. Nonetheless, much has been worked out by examining ammonoid shells and by using models of these shells in water tanks. Many ammonoids probably lived in the open water of ancient seas, rather than at the sea bottom. Many of them are thought to have been good swimmers with flattened, discus-shaped, streamlined shells. Ammonites and their kin probably preyed on fishes, crustaceans and other small creatures, while they themselves were preyed upon by monster marine reptiles such as mosasaurs (see image here), which themselves grew to 17 meters (almost 60 feet) in length. Fossilized ammonoids have been found showing teeth marks from such attacks. They may have avoided predation by squirting ink, much like modern cephalopods; ink is occasionally preserved in fossil specimens. Due to their free-swimming and/or free-floating habits, ammonites often happened to live directly above seafloor waters so poor in oxygen as to prevent the establishment of animal life on the seafloor. When upon death the ammonites fell to this seafloor and were gradually buried in accumulating sediment, the anaerobic conditions ultimately resoluted in a precipitation of minerals around the fossil called a concretion, which is responsible for the outstanding preservation of many ammonite fossils. When ammonites are found in such anaerobic clays, their original mother-of-pearl coating is often preserved. These iridescent ammonites are often of gem quality (ammolite) when polished. Many of these also have much or all of the original shell, as well as the complete body chamber, still intact. Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $16.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $20.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). We travel to Russia each year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. Our interest in the fabulous history of Russian gemstones and the fabulous jewelry of the Czar’s led to further education and contacts in India, Ceylon, and Siam, other ancient centers of gemstone production and finishing. We have a number of “helpers” (family members, friends, and colleagues) in Russia and in India who act as eyes and ears for us year-round, and in reciprocity we donate a portion of our revenues to support educational institutions in Russia and India. Occasionally while in Russia, India, Siam, and Ceylon we will also find such good buys on unique contemporary gemstones and jewelry that we will purchase a few pieces to offer to our customers here in America. These are always offered clearly labeled as contemporary, and not antiques – just to avoid confusion. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." Material: Ammonite, Jewelry: Ammonite Pendant

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