Pyritized Ammonite Earrings by E. Etsitty

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Quick Overview
Pyritized Ammonite stud earrings made by Navajo artist E. Etsitty (signed on the back). The Ammonite is surrounded by sterling silver. The post is set approx. 1/8" below the top of the earring. We have 2 pairs of earrings available and the Pyritized Ammonite varies slightly. Location of Pyritized Ammonite: Dubrovski Mine, Russia Time Period: Jurassic Period ~160 M.Y.O. Overall Measurements: 1" wide x 1-1/8" long .
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Pyritized Ammonites are considered some of the most collectable type of Ammonite fossil specimens. Iron Pyrite, also known as "Fool's Gold" enters the Ammonites chambers, replacing the animal's structure cell by cell. When the cellular replacement process goes just right, a magnificent fossil specimen, such as the one pictured, is created. The name Pyrite is derived from the Greek πυρίτης (puritēs), "of fire" or "in fire," from πύρ (pur), "fire.”

Ammonites are an extinct group of marine animals in the Cephalopoda class. They are invertebrates and are more closely related to coleoids (squids, octopus, and cuttlefish) than they were to the chambered nautilus, even though they looked much more similar to the later. The name Ammonite was derived from "ammonis cornua," translated to mean Horns of Ammon. Ammon was an Egyptian god that was typically depicted wearing ram horns, whose spiraled shape is similar to that of an Ammonite. Ammonites first appeared in the oceans during the Devonian Period, some 400 million years ago. They died out around 65.5 million years ago along with the dinosaurs.

Lapidary and silversmithing is an important way of life for the Navajo people. Starting in the 19th century, a man named Atsidi Sani (1830 –1918) is credited with being the first among his people to learn the fine artistry of jewelry making. Atsidi was taught by a Mexican man named Nakai Tsosi, who also taught the craft to other Navajo members.