Published December 2015  •  Updated February 2024 •  Read Time: 6 minutes
Turritella Agate are ancient snail fossils that has been agatized by mineral replacement.  It is found only in southwestern Wyoming.  Originally scientists thought the fossils belonged to salt water snails, whose family name is Turritella.  We now know they’re the freshwater snail, Elimia tenera, which flourished in Wyoming’s lakes 50 million years ago.  Turritella Agate is a wonderful stone for teaching patience and reminds us to have good personal boundaries.  Most snails are hermaphrodites and snail energy can help us be more comfortable with sexuality in all its variety, and to embrace both our masculine and feminine sides.

Turretella Agate turritella agate

Turritella Agate Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Turritella Agate increases our connection to the natural world, especially to the Earth’s smaller animals, as well as plants. It helps us to recognize that all beings, from the enormous to the infinitesimal, are worthy of our respect and attention. Turritella Agate helps us to be better caretakers of the planet and to understand how each species contributes to the well-being of others. It also reminds us to slow down and to make it a priority to spend time in spiritual contemplation and self-reflection. It teaches us that when we take time to actively think and make good decisions, rather than just instinctively reacting, our stress level is lowered and our outcomes are improved.

Metaphysical Properties Turritella Agate
Chakra Root
Element Water
Numerology 7 and 8
Zodiac Gemini, Cancer and Aquarius

Emotional Healing Properties

Turritella Agate has a wonderful earthy energy that reminds us to stay humble and let go of any superiority complex that our ego may have developed. It also eases the stress of transition, particularly when we are uprooting ourselves and moving to a new home. It helps us to feel safe and protected, and to know that we can create a home and refuge anywhere we go. Turritella Agate helps us remember who we are, at the core of our being, and to stay true to ourselves. It teaches us that we can be vulnerable to the world and open to new experiences, while still staying safe and relaxed. Turritella Agate can also be particularly good crystal ally for exploring our own sensuality and sexuality, in a safe and emotionally freeing way.

Mental Healing Properties

Turritella Agate encourages us to stay positive and practical during times of hardship. In particular, it helps us to focus on doing what is necessary to survive and thrive, and to do so with ease. It reminds us to simply focus on finding and implementing a solution to problems, rather than wasting time distributing blame or claiming the problem is impossible to fix. Turritella Agate has a very logical and creative energy, helping us to analyze situations, come to reasonable conclusions and calmly move into action.

Physical Healing Properties

Turritella Agate is used by metaphysical healers to combat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It is also said to be very soothing to the stomach and digestive tract, and to help the body absorb all necessary nutrients. In addition, Turritella Agate is believed to help us understand our habits and beliefs surrounding food and our emotional environment, and to start making new and healthier choices. It is also said to be very good for treating conditions associated with the feet or legs.

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Turritella Agate Mineralogy

Where does Turritella Agate come from?

Fossils are found around the world, but large deposits are relatively rare.  Some of the best deposits are protected areas and the fossils remain in place.  While marine fossils are relatively common, Turritella Agate is found exclusively in Wyoming, USA.

Mining and Treatments

Most Fossils are mined from the primary deposit and typically in their original relationship with the host rock.   Fossils may be found on the surface of the earth or uncovered in any kind of mining environment. Except in the case of extremely valuable fossils, such as dinosaur bones, most fossils are mined as a secondary finds.  Shell fossils may be found near the ocean or far away.

While fake fossils can be made, it is typically only worthwhile if the fossil is exceptionally valuable, such as a dinosaur.  Turritella Agates are fully natural, enhanced only by cutting and polishing.

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Mineral Family

A fossil is the remnant or impression of an organism which lived in the past. Fossils come in many different forms and, depending on what is being preserved, the fossilization process can also be very different.  The three most common forms of fossils are unaltered preservation (most shells, fossil teeth, and organic material in Amber), mineral preservation (Petrified Wood and most dinosaur bones), and fossil impressions (leaf prints and footprints).

Unaltered preservation typically involves marine or lake dwelling invertebrates, such as coral, mollusks, sponges, etc.   The organism is fossilized in an unaltered state, a process aided by the fact that the animals’ skeleton is calcareous (calcium carbonate) and can remain virtually unchained when fossilized.  Calcium carbonite is also the main chemical components of Aragonite and Calcite.  Most shell fossils are grey or tan, just like the surrounding sedimentary rock.  Occasionally, shells may be also be agatized which creates bright rainbow colors, most famously this happens with Ammonites.  Turritella Agates are unaltered snail fossils

Turritella Agate’s energy works well with its family – other Fossils.  Try it in combination with Agatized CoralPetrified WoodSand Dollar Fossil, Shell Fossil, and Vatican Stone.

Turritella Agate Formation and Crystal Associates

Fossils are remnants of organisms living in a past geological age. Most are preserved in fine-grained sedimentary rock such as limestone or shale.  Typically the soft parts of the organism decompose quickly and the hard parts, such as shells and bones, remain in place longer. Eventually the remains gradually turn into stone.   Turritella Agates contain fossils of an ancient freshwater snail, Elimia tenera.

Turritella Agate’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Green Jade and Prairie Tanzanite.

Mineralogy Turritella Agate
Rock Type Fossil – mineral preservation
Major Minerals Calcite, Aragonite, Brown Agate
Color Dark brown with white or grey fossils
Texture Varies, often has vitreous layer on top with dull rock beneath
Transparency Opaque
Special Features Distinct fossils

History of Turritella Agate

Turritella Agate is both an Agate and a Fossil of ancient freshwater snails. Both Agates and Fossils have many traditions associated with them and were included in lapidaries dating back into ancient times. This specific stone, however, was first documented in the mid-20th century and so has relatively few stories associated with it.

When it was first studied, the fossils were thought to be shells from the saltwater snail family Turritella, hence the name. But further study soon revealed that the shells were actually from a specific species of freshwater snail, Elimia tenera. However, by this point the trade name of “Turritella Agate” was so entrenched in the gem and mineral community that few questioned the moniker. While some purists have argued that it should be called “Elimia Agate,” the name has not caught on with the general public.

Elimia tenera flourished during the Eocene Era (56-39 million years ago), but are now extinct. They were native to a section of the American mountain west, an area which today comprises Wyoming, northern Colorado, and northern Utah. During that period, the area was divided between rough mountains and broad intermountain basins. These basins were dotted with lakes which were home to countless Turritella Snails. So many, in fact, that their empty shells would sink to the bottom of the lakes and form entire layers of sediment! The best examples of Turritella Agate come from the Fort Laclede Bed, in Sweetwater, Wyoming.

Anyone wishing to work with this stone would do well to study the totem medicine significance of the snail. This small invertebrate teaches valuable lessons in patience, inner growth, protection, and self-reliance. Snail medicine also teaches us to slow down and take time to smell (or munch!) on the flowers.

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