The Beauty of Amber


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When it comes to jewelry, there are refined pieces and all natural ones. Amber definitely falls into the natural beauty category.

Amber is one of the most interesting materials that is used in jewelry production today. This natural material is not mined nor created in a lab, instead it is a fossilized part of history. Pieces of amber can be traced back for 90 million years, with most of the world's amber dating between 30 and 90 million years old. This ancient tree resin is found in several beautiful colors, and can be shaped into many different types of jewelry pieces.

Most of the world's most beautiful amber gems (this fossilized resin is considered a gemstone even though it does not have the properties of most gems) come from the area around the Baltic Sea. This amber is called Baltic amber, and it is found in marine sand known as “blue sand” in this area. It is believed most of the amber originally came from the sap of one particular type of pine tree, known as Pinites succiniter, and this tree appears to be related to the pine trees of North America and Asia.

Amber is a beautiful, warm gemstone – but it can be made even more interesting if the piece contains preserved life from millions of years ago. Items that have been found inside fossilized amber include plants, insects such as small ants and flies, and even tiny tree frogs that existed millenia ago. Most of these animals and plants decayed within the amber, leaving only the impression (or occasionally, shell) inside the resin.

There are several different colors of amber available in the Baltic area – specifically, Russia, where 90% of the amber on today's market is from. Most amber is a warm honey color – the color known as amber – but there are also cherry red pieces, lemon yellow and green ambers available. In the Dominican Republic, a special type of amber is found that is called blue amber – this amber appears blue when held against a dark background and is honey colored in the light. Blue amber is highly prized among collectors.

If you are interested in buying amber jewelry, be sure to buy from a reputable source. The popularity of this resin/gem in recent years has led to a large amount of counterfeits. Most of these are resins like plastic that are colored to look just like real amber – they may even have bubbles or inclusions like true amber has. Buying from a jeweler or other reputable source can assure that you are not fooled into buying fake amber.

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