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Ammolite to become official Alberta gemstone

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The ammolite is set to become Alberta's official gemstone.

The gemstone, found predominantly in the southern part of the province, would be added to the Emblems of Alberta Act if passed.

"Ammolite is an iridescent gemstone formed from the fossilized shells of molluscs, known as ammonites, which lived in an inland sea east of the Rocky Mountains," the province said in a news release.

"After sinking to the seabed, the mud that covered ammonites hardened over millions of years to become shale. The shell properties, combined with southern Alberta’s unique geology, transformed many ammonite shells into the ammolite that is mined and used for jewellery today."

Alberta Culture Minister Ron Orr called the ammolite "an important part of our heritage and economy."

Ammonite shells are still collected by Blackfoot communities for sacred purposes, the province said.

Other Alberta emblems include the coat of arms, flag and wild rose.

For more information, visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum's website.

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