Every August long weekend Ammonite World hosts an open house, opening the doors to the factory to educate others on ammolite, what is now Alberta’s official gemstone.
Jennifer Robak, owner of Ammonite World’s storefront has said people from all over came out for this year’s event.
“This year we definitely had some from B.C. We’ve had them fly in from all over for it because there are very few ammolite factories around the world that are legitimate,” she said.
People got to the parts of the process, many of which are trade secrets, along with the raw material and some fossils.
All of the products were also available for those to purchase.
Ammonite is a prehistoric sea creature that existed all over the world wherever there were oceans and ammolite is the gemstone that’s made of the fossilized shells of ammonites.
“Depending on where they died in the world affects what happened to it. In southern Alberta we’ve got beautiful gem quality colour that actually formed on the surface of the fossil,” said Robak.
Ammolite is now the official gemstone of Alberta and is the only place in the world where the gem is mined commercially.
“The stone itself is very soft, so it has to be stabilized before it can be cut and polished,” said Robak, adding that if the finished piece looks good she will then sell them online.
Robak said they source the ammolite from Lethbridge and that their biggest client base is actually in Hong Kong.
While Robak owns the storefront, her family owns the factory that runs production and just celebrated 30 years of being in business.
Robak’s husband is also involved. He runs C & J Fossils, which specializes in prepping the ammonite fossils and ammolite gems.
“He finishes the whole creature, not just the pieces like we do.”
For those interested in checking out Ammonite World’s products, they will be having a Facebook live sale on the second Saturday of every month to show and sell some of their pieces.