About Helmintholith - Lumachella

The very rare Helmintholith from the Karwendel was created around 230,000,000 years ago and is therefore probably the oldest organic gem that is found worldwide. The Helmintholith consists of petrified mother-of-pearl which was formed by shellfish but mainly Helmintholith (Carnites floridus) in the Thetys. This means that the ammonites are also the namesake for this rare organic rock.
Helmintholith is next to amber the oldest organic rock and the oldest organic gemstone created by animal life.
The primeval sea, which was at the height of the equator at that time, was a wild sea with numerous predecessors of predatory fish such as Saurichthys, an ancestor of sturgeon (smelting scales) and various ichthyosaurs such as the Plesiosaurus and the Nothosaurus. Remains of all these prehistoric beings have been found near the Helmintholith . A primeval sea with an impressive flora and fauna, with many hunters with strong pines that the ammonites could bite and thus took care of the isolated shell fragments.

The special thing about the Helmintholith compared to other fossil remains is the type of fossilization. Only in a few places has the shine been preserved over millions of years.

Our Ammolite’s journey began at the level of the equator in the depths of the primeval ocean. There they deposited the shell fragments and became part of the sea floor. Over the course of millions of years, the sea floor was pushed further north until the collision between the African continent and the European plate finally pushed the sea floor upwards. Around 135 million years ago, the Alps began to unfold and the sea floor was pressed up to 2800m above the sea floor. You can well imagine the enormous energy that is required for this and it explains why our precious ammolites are found high up in the Alps today.

A lucky factor was that the rock did not get too hot during the unfolding process. At over 400 degrees the shine is lost and this happened practically everywhere when the limestone mountains were unfolded.

Vergleich der Entstehung von Diamanten und Helmintholith

What makes the rare Alpine Helmintholith – Lumachella so special?

• Helmintholith is fully crystallized and therefore insensitive. 

• It cannot dry out and fade like opal

• Helmintholith cannot be produced artificially /
   the iridescent effect cannot be created artificially

• Unique refraction of light

• It was only recognized as an organic gemstone in
  1981 by the Coloured Stones Commission of the
  World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO).

• It’s harder than Ammolite

• The only gem in the Limestone Alps

Lichtbrechung des Helmintholith

A natural wonder...

Helmintholith - Lumachella the same stone from Bleiberg

Similar rock was mined in Kärnten (Austria) around 1780. This occurrence of the so-called Lumachella was exhausted after only 3 years. A table for the court of the Russian Zar was made from this very high-priced material. A box made of this marble also landed with Goethe, who in turn crossed the Karwendel on his travels.

Zitat Wulfen:
„Können wir sie auch noch achten, nachdem derselbe den Smaragd, den Topas, den Saphir, Rubin, ja alle bekannte Edelsteine, nur vielleicht den Demant allein ausgenommen, übertroffen hat! Wie? und an Was? an innerlichem Werthe? an Feine der Theile? an Festigkeit des Zusammenhangs? an Härte und Dauerhaftig- keit? Mein; bloß an Schönheit der Farben, die eben nicht sehr lange bestehen können; dann an Lebhaftigkeit des Glanzes, der zuletzt in freyer Luft gewiß absterben muß! Tantum est in rebus inane!” (WULFEN, 1793, S.

Some of the famous owners of those stones

Maria Theresia of Austria 001

Maria Theresa of Austria was a princess from the House of Habsburg. She was the ruling Archduchess of Austria and Queen among others from 1740 until her death. of Hungary and Bohemia.

Archduchess Maria Anne of Austria

Maria Anna von Habsburg was Archduchess of Austria, Duchess of Lorraine and briefly governor of the Habsburg Netherlands in 1744

Goethe (Stieler 1828)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – German writer geologist and statesman


Origin of the Karwendel and the rare ammolites

235 million to 228 million years ago, the Carnian in the Triassic – life in the sea explodes. A huge variety of fish, marine dinosaurs, corals, shells and cephalopods live in the Thetys, the primeval sea. Gigantic reefs are forming.

Life in the primeval sea

when was what?

The evolution of life on earth

In this graphic you can see all the important data. Among other things, when which species existed and for how long. At the same time, they see the changes in temperatures and atmospheric compositions and all important geological events and also the change in the length of the day. A complex overview.

The Alps began to unfold 135 million years ago. The seabed on the African plate is pushed over the European plate. As a result of the unfolding process, the sea floor was pushed to over 2000m above sea level. At the same time, the limestone in the Central Alps weathered and exposed the primary rock here. The Central Alps were formed and the Northern Limestone Alps now lie like an island on the European plate. The rocks in the Limestone Alps contain our rare fossils

the birth of the alps

so the fossils rose

mining in the region

Silver and ore

With the unfolding of the Alps, not only did fossils rise, but also deposits of rare ores and salts that had been mined in the Karwendel since the Bronze Age.
The Haller Taler, namesake for the
The world currency, the dollar, and Innsbruck’s leading gunsmithing at the time, were
direct consequences of mining in the region


The dollar – a world currency with roots in the karwendel

Learn interesting facts about the emergence of one of the major currencies. The dollar the epitome of the Western Economic Area, known to us primarily through economic news and possible trips abroad. Trough the American occupation after WWII the dollar became locally important. On top of that there is also a historical relationship to the dollar in the area. Its name comes from the Northern Limestone Alps which are located at the foothills of the G7 summit in 2015. The names origin comes from the Thaler of Hall which was created by a Bohemian Guilder called JoachimThaler. The town of Hall in Tyrol is located approximately 30 km as the crow flies away from Schloss Elmau and as is the Isar valley a Riparian of the Karwendel mountain range. Here the first Haller Thaler was coined in 1486 by Archduke Sigismund in it was one of the first high-quality silver coins. In the Netherlands the Thaler became known as the Daalder. Through Spanish occupation the Dolaro was formed on the basis of the Daalder. It was first coined by King Phillip II of Spain in1575 in Bolivia. English pirates often came into the possession of these coins. Since English money was often in short supply in the North American colonies then Dolaros were used as a substitute currency. As a cause Queen Elizabeth I started minting coins from 1600 onwards thus the first dollars. Therefore the dollar has its origin in the south end of the Karwendel mountain range. This was formerly an area where one dug for silver and other precious metals at great expense; this was also the case in the neighboring Wetterstein mountain range. In the 16th century an inhabitant of Mittenwald was accorded the right to dig for silver in the area of the Elmau, unfortunately the digging had to be abandoned after a short while. Coming back to the dollar you will find that there is some overlap in the symbolism such as the eagle, immortality, courage, being visionary and strength all of these are depicted. Even the all-seeing eye, which is on every dollar bill, can be found in the region of the G7 area. A careful observer will find it when taking a strole through the historic district of the Gries in Mittenwald.

World History

written by the time