What is an amber?
Amber is the fossilized resin of trees like cypress and pine trees. It often retains ancient insects and animals, which is amazing. The amber stone is able to ward off evil spirits and calm the mind, and is also one of the Seven Buddhist Treasures.
How are amber fossils formed?
Amber is an organic mixture of resins from the pine and cypress trees of the Mesozoic Cretaceous to Cenozoic Tertiary. There are generally three stages in the formation of amber fossils:
The first stage refers to the secretion of the resin from the cypress tree; the second stage refers to the deep burial and lithification of the resin, which results in significant changes in the composition, structure and characteristics; the third stage refers to the scouring, transport, deposition and lithogenesis of the lithified resin, which results in the formation of amber fossils.
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The amber stone is irregularly shaped and sometimes contains fossilized plants or insects inside. Amber colors include yellow, brown, red, green and blue, transparent to opaque. It has a gem-like luster, hardness 2 to 2.5, specific gravity 1.05 to 1.09, extremely brittle and electric when rubbed.
Well-known for its special inclusions
Amber is famous for its special inclusions that can not be found in any other stones. In a fossilized amber, we can find plants, small animals such as insects, beetles, spiders, flies and ants as well as common inclusions like bubbles, cracks, swirls, etc.
Amber containing small animals like insects
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This is arguably one of the most popular types of amber. Natural amber crystals that contain animals or insects are very rare and the chances of its formation are very low. It is very difficult to wrap a moving insect in a drop of resin, and it is even more difficult to wrap a large insect in a drop of resin.
In general, the value of such fossilized amber is determined on the rarity of the animals, their sizes, and the integrity of their bodies.
If formed naturally, this kind of amber has a very high value in the commercial market as well as a high value in the scientific field, as it helps researchers to understand the animals and plants that lived over millions of years ago.
What is the color of amber?
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The amber stone has a wide range of colors, which is fascinating. Main amber colors including yellow amber, brown amber, red amber, green amber, brown amber, and blue amber (very rare). Among all these colors of amber, yellow amber and red amber are most popular in the market.
This amber color is formed when the crystal is subjected to oxidation. It appears red from the inside out, translucent and pure like wine. When heated to a certain degree, the red color deepens further. The color of red amber is often reminiscent of blood. It is a symbol of vitality and health, and wearing red amber helps to improve blood circulation.
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Yellow or golden amber is crystal clear and bright yellow in color. It is the most valuable category. People love it not only because of its dazzling color but also its power to attract wealth.
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Blue amber is composed of 30-million-year-old resins from the legume family. Causes of its peculiar blue color is widely debated, but it is now widely accepted by the scientific community that it is the heat of volcanic lava flowing over the surface of the earth that caused a change of color in the amber in the strata.
Blue amber stones produced in the Dominican Republic have a seemingly blue hue in normal light, while the Mexican blue amber has a distinctive green hue, both of which are extremely precious and rare.
The hue of blue amber changes flexibly with the angle of light, adding a sense of mystery to the stone. Overall, it gives us a sense of peace and comfort, and for those who are sentimental and emotional, blue amber helps to strengthen their spirituality.
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Green amber is relatively rare, showing a ghostly green color in strong light and provides a dreamy visual experience. Green is originally the color of hope, symbolizing freedom and spontaneity. Artists and introverts can choose the mysterious green amber to bring inspiration.
Where are amber fossils found?
The world’s most important source of amber is the coast of the Baltic Sea, including Russia, Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine. The Baltic amber is known as “Baltic gold” because of its high quality. It is worthy to note that Poland was the first country to exploit and use amber while Russia accounts for 90% of the world’s overall amber production.
In the meanwhile, we can find high quality amber in Myanmar, Dominican Republic, China and Mexico.
History of the amber stone
Amber was formed about 40 and 60 million years ago. Around 1600 B.C., the inhabitants of the Baltic coast began to use tin and amber as currency to trade with the tribes of southern territories for bronze weapons and other tools. During this time, Baltic amber was transferred to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea via the Aegean Sea.
In fact, archaeologists have found Baltic amber necklaces in bottles and pots from the Mycenaean civilization in Syria.
In the fifth century A.D., the Romans made expeditions to the Baltic Sea in search of amber, and the trade in amber reached an unprecedented level during this period.
In the Middle Ages, Baltic amber was popular with religious symbolism.
In the East, amber was also prized by various peoples, especially the Arabs, Persians, Turks and Chinese.
The amber stone has been considered a precious treasure by the Chinese since ancient times, as it comes from the pine tree, which in China symbolizes longevity. Some amber is able to release the fascinating scent of pine with a simple stroke, which has a calming effect and is widely used as a religious object in Ancient China.
The meaning of amber
Amber is fossilized time that has seen changes over the centuries. Amber means courage, happiness and longevity. In ancient times, it was worn by newborns to protect them from disasters and to keep them safe for life, and by newlyweds to keep them young and happy for life. A heart-shaped amber is a symbol of love and care.
Amber is also considered to be a good luck charm, which is suitable for all Leo, Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio. It is also highly prized in Buddhism, where it is one of the seven Buddhist treasures and is used in rosaries and amulets.
In the meanwhile, different types of amber stones have been given different symbolic meanings. For more information please refer to the chapter what is the color of amber.
Healing properties of amber
Historically, the earliest records of the healing properties of amber are from the writings of Hippocrates (460-377 BC), the famous “father of medicine” in ancient Greece.
It is stated that wearing amber necklaces tightly around the neck provided relief in cases of severe headaches, laryngitis and neck pain. Amber bracelets are also useful for patients with rheumatism and arthritis, as well as for those who feel fatigue all the time. A similar therapeutic effect can be obtained by rubbing a rather large amber block on the body.
Nowadays, it is believe that amber contains 3% to 8% succinic acid, which can be used for healing and antiseptic purposes. Succinic acid is mainly concentrated in lightly skinned amber products like amber necklaces, bracelets and pendants.
Moreover, succinic acid has a positive effect on our health, as it strengthens the immune system, keeps the acid-base balance and energizes our body.
Disclaimer: We do not guarantee or validate any of the claims related to the metaphysical and alternative healing powers of this or any other gemstone. This information should in no way be used as a substitute for medical advice.
Amber necklace for teething
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Amber necklaces for babies are a traditional European remedy for colic or teething pain due to the purported analgesic properties of succinic acid, although there is no evidence that this is an effective method. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the FDA have warned strongly against their use, as they present both a choking and a strangulation hazard.
Where to buy amber stones and amber jewelry?
If you want to buy an amber stone and amber jewelry ranging from $0.5-$100, you can check Etsy. You can buy a raw amber stone, amber beads or amber jewelry, like an amber ring, an amber necklace and an amber bracelet that are affordable and of high quality and have them delivered to your house fast.
Alternatively, if you want to buy high end amber jewelry ranging from $100-$2000, you can check Farfetch. They have luxury brands like Gucci, Prada, Boucheron, Cartier, Chopard, David Morris, De Beers as well as designer brands that are unique and less well-known. You can also have all the products delivered to your home.
To wrap up
In conclusion, the amber stone has been appreciated since ancient times and remain a beautiful stone today. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these beautiful stones, you will absolutely not regret it. We hope this article has given you the insight you need to find the perfect gift for a loved one.
Thank you for reading this article, I hope it helps you get the information needed. Feel to share your thoughts below or check other articles on gemstones that we have published.