Amber - The Age Old Gem Amber derives its name from the Middle English word 'ambre', from the Medieval Latin word 'ambra', and from the Arabic word 'anbar ambergris'.
Amber - How Was It Made? Amber is the fossilized resin from ancient forests. This aromatic resin dripped from and oozed down the trees, and filled the internal fissures. During this process it ended up trapping debris such as seeds, leaves, feathers and insects. Through a process of natural polymerization of the original organic compounds the resin got buried and fossilized. The majority of amber that is found today is approximately 30-90 million years old.
Amber - Where Is It Found? The richest and largest amber deposits are found in the Baltic Sea region. The level of succinic acid contained in the amber is what determines its quality. Amber from the Baltic Sea region contains the highest level of succinic acid, and therefore is considered to be the highest quality amber you can find. During the process of fossilization, a variety of flora and fauna tend to remain trapped in the amber resin and eventually become an integral part of the final gem i.e. amber. Many different species like larvae, bees, caterpillars, butterflies, flies, spiders and even land snails have been discovered in amber over the centuries. We can find flora like wood fragments, flowers, leaves and many plant parts and ferns in the gem. The more unique the type of fossils found in amber, the higher its value. Many flora and fauna, small pyrite crystals, dust and minerals are often found in amber.
Amber Gemstone Colors One can find Baltic Amber in a large spectrum of colors: white, yellow, brown, black, red, green and blue. The most common colors are honey and milky yellow. A small percentage of amber is bone white and the rarest has a green and blue tone.
Amber - What Is It Made Up Of? Amber is not a typical gemstone mineral. Technically, it is organic material. It comes from the resin of the fossilized remains of a living plant. It is a mixture of organic compounds like hydrocarbons, resins, succinic acid, and oils. However, it has none of the crystalline structures common within other gems.
Amber - Legends The early Germans called this Baltic amber by the name of 'Bernstein', due to the sweet smell it emitted when burnt. The Greeks called it 'Elektron' due to its properties of developing static electricity when rubbed. Amber is known as 'Kerba' in the local markets in India. Amber jewelry is said to help one be joyful and happy. The cheery yellow stone is believed to lighten the burdens of life. It is said by Healers that amber helps us realize the full power of our spiritual intellect and activates our altruistic nature. It is said that if the first gift from a man to a woman is made of amber, it means they will marry soon.
If feeling close to nature is important to you, make sure to look into the wide range of choices available in jewelry made of Amber fossils.