Ammonites gained their name via the ancient Egyptian God Amun because Amun was associated with the Ram (a symbol of fertility) and the snake (a symbol of transformation and transmutation) and ammonites can be seen to resemble the coiled horns of a ram or a coiled snake.
It seems that these beautiful fossils were held special to many civilisations. In ancient Greece some would place an ammonite under their pillow to help sleep and stimulate dreams. Similarly in Ethiopia it was believed that possession of an ammonite would lead to prophetic dreams. In Australia the Aborigines would often carry ammonites as they believed the fossils contain magic powers. In India ammonites were sometimes used to represent the God Vishnu and in some Himalayan tribes they were known as "Wheels of God'.
To some Native American tribes they were known as 'life within seed, seed within shell' and were used in some spiritual ceremonies. In the middle ages in England these fossils were often referred to as snakestone. And in ancient China they were called Jiao-shih, or horn stones.
So there is an element of connection to all these past traditions and ceremonies when you hold an ammonite. And apart from anything they are just great to look at!
Ammonite Fossil Pair (Madagascar) From £11.35