Agate Chrysocolla Hematite Moissanite Pearl Tanzanite Brilliance Fluorescence
Alexandrite Chrysoprase Iolite Moonstone Pyrite Tiger’s Eye Carat Hardness Inc
Amber Citrine Ivory Mother Pearl Quartz Topaz Clarity Stability
Amethyst Coral Jade Mystic Topaz Rubies Tourmaline Color Inclusion
Ametrine Diamond Jasper Obsidian Sapphire Turquoise Cut Toughness
Aquamarine Emerald Kunzite Onyx Spinel Yellow Topaz Durability
Blue Topaz Feldspar Malachite Opal Star Sapphire Zircon Facet
Cats Eye Garnet Marcasite Peridot Sugilite  

Amber - The Different Colors, Shapes and Sizes

Amber is one of the most beautiful natural forming compounds in the world. While many people categorize it as a precious stone, it is in fact fossilized resin. Amber is a by product of flora (trees, usually coniferous) that has hardened over the millennia. Most Amber today is said to be from 30 to 90 million years old.

There are many different types of Amber that are found and used today. Most of the Amber that is sold is called Succinite. This type of Amber is mainly found in Northern Europe and is golden brown in color and hard in substance. The hues tend to be from yellowish honey to a gentle brown with gold in it to a dark brown. This is usually the most popular type of Amber available and it is generally used for ornamental jewelry, as well as tips on smoking devices such as pipes. Amber can be molded into certain shapes; however most jewelry reflects the Amber’s natural beauty and forms.

Besides Succinite Amber there is also Amber that has inclusions. Besides Amber being just fossilized plant structure, Amber can include an inclusion. An inclusion means that remains of spiders, insects, crustacean, in fact any small organism can have been caught in the once sticky substance that fossilized and created Amber.

Amber can come in other colors besides its trademarked brown. For instance, Amber may also have a bluish color due to pyrites. Amber can come in a deep brownish black color, due to the lack of certain acids, this kind of Amber is called Stantienite. Glessite is an opaque brown Amber that has many cavities within the resin. The term Glessite comes from the word Glesum which is an old name for Amber.


How and Where is Amber Formed and Found

Amber is not a stone, actually it is fossilized resin. Amber can be different in composition, but mostly includes resin soluble alcohol, chloroform and ether. Amber is created by once living entities such as trees and other types of flora.

Amber gradually forms and hardens over many millions of years. In fact, most of today’s Amber is from 30 to 90 millions old. Amber’s scientific formula is written as C10H16O, incorporating carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Amber can usually be found in all parts of the world where there was once flora living millions of years ago. Amber in general has its biggest depositories in the Baltic region. Baltic Amber is found all along the Baltic and North seas from the north of Germany to Sambia, which is now part of Russia.

Most Amber comes from the sea floor which is released once waves and other marine forces crash upon it. Amber can be picked up from the shore line and can be fished for. Many people fish for Amber using long poles and special nets. Usually the Amber that has washed up along shore is dull and dirty and must be polished. The reason for its dullness is that Amber usually rolls in the sand for long periods of time before it is eventually removed.

Commercial divers are also employed to mine certain areas of the sea floor and recover Amber from deep waters. Years ago dredging took place on certain parts of the sea in order to maximize the Amber that was either loose or still part of the sea bed. Mines are also used to dig deep into the sea crust, however usually special gallery’s are created instead of deep open holes.

Continue reading about Amber
© 2007 Gemstone Education