Amber

THE MINERALOID AMBER

Termite
Spider Flies Amber Unpolished Amber Spider
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Amber is a beautiful stone that is cut and polished and used as a valuable gemstone. It is very light in weight which allows it to be used in a large jewelry piece without discomfort. Amber, or fossil tree sap, has been known since antiquity. A fossil itself, it can contain many preserved insects and other animals and plants that are tens of millions of years old. These frequent fossil inclusions were made famous in the movie "Jurassic Park". The odd inclusions that are often seen in amber usually add to amber's unique look and in many cases greatly increase its value.

The fossils that are encased in amber probably got there when they flew or crawled on to the fresh seeping sap and then got stuck. The sap oozed over the trapped animals and perhaps fell to the ground and was later covered by dirt and debris. The sap later hardened and became a fossil.

The fossils are mostly insects such as gnats, flies, wasps, bees and ants. Occasionally more exotic insects are trapped in the amber such as grasshoppers, preying mantises, beetles, moths, termites, butterflies, etc. Other non-insect animals are found in amber too such as spiders, centipedes, scorpions and even frogs and lizards. No really large animals like mammals or birds are seen in amber but feathers and fur have been seen. Invaluable plant remains have also been found in amber including flowers, mushroom caps, seeds, leaves, stems, pine needles and pine cones. The rarity of the trapped fossils controls the value of the amber more so than the quality of the amber. Remember these are fossils and are not the same species that are alive today. Amber has greatly increased the knowledge of the evolution of insects and plants as well as enlivening the interest in paleontology in general.

Amber is often imitated by plastics, colored glasses and some modern tree resins. However, its hardness is usually greater and it is tougher than other resins. Its low specific gravity (amber can float on salt water) and inclusions can distinguish it from plastics and glasses.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Color is amber yellow to orange.
  • Luster is resinous.
  • Transparency: Transparent to translucent.
  • Crystal System does not apply because amber is amorphous (meaning it does not have an ordered structure).
  • Habits include nodules embedded in shales or sandstones and those that are washed up on beaches.
  • Fracture is conchoidal.
  • Hardness is 2+.
  • Specific Gravity is approximately 1.1 (extremely light and can float in salty water).
  • Streak is white.
  • Other Characteristics: Can be burned, fluorescent under UV light and is much tougher (will not crumble as easily) than modern tree resins.
  • Notable Occurrences include all Baltic countries; Venezuela; Russia; Romania; Burma; in coal seams in Wyoming, USA and the Dominican Republic.
  • Best Field Indicators are color, density, toughness, softness and trapped insects.
Amethyst Galleries sells natural mineral specimens, including precious metals and gemstones. For Fine Jewelry, please visit our affiliates.

Amber Jewelry - Hover over an item for more information
Two-Tone Punk Skull Ring - Alexander McQueen - Gold (7.5)
Alexander McQueenTwo-Tone Punk Skull RingDetailsAlexander McQueen ring in yellow golden brass.Signature skull is topped with silvertone mohawk and encrusted with large amber colored crystal eyes and mouth.1 1/2inL overall.Tapered band.Made in...Only $350.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoTwo-Tone Punk Skull Ring - Alexander McQueen - Gold (7.5)
$350.00
Neiman Marcus
Sterling Silver Baltic Amber Hook Earrings Jewelry
This Earrings was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $121.49 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Baltic Amber Hook Earrings Jewelry
$121.49
JeGem.com
Sterling Silver Baltic Amber Bracelet Jewelry
This Bracelet was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $284.24 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Baltic Amber Bracelet Jewelry
$284.24
JeGem.com
Plexi Punk Skull Ring, Red/Golden - Alexander McQueen - Red/Gold (6.5)
Alexander McQueenPlexi Punk Skull Ring, Red/GoldenDetailsAlexander McQueen ring in yellow golden brass and marbleized red plexi.Signature skull is topped with mohawk and encrusted with large amber colored crystal eyes and mouth.1 1/2inL overall.Tapered...Only $245.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoPlexi Punk Skull Ring, Red/Golden - Alexander McQueen - Red/Gold (6.5)
$245.00
Neiman Marcus
Hinged Double-Skull Bracelet, White - Alexander McQueen - Ivory
Alexander McQueenHinged Double-Skull Bracelet, WhiteDetailsSet with amber-colored crystals, the signature Alexander McQueen skulls take center stage on this hinged bracelet.Golden brass bracelet detailed with pebbled lambskin leather.End caps detailed...Only $495.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoHinged Double-Skull Bracelet, White - Alexander McQueen - Ivory
$495.00
Neiman Marcus
Amber Agate
Amber AgateDetailsNatural and organic, this shadowbox-style wall decor features a slice of agate mounted on cream linen-textured bottom mat with floated top mat. Since each agate is natural and unique, patterns and coloration will vary.Natural agate on...Only $245.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoAmber Agate
$245.00
Neiman Marcus
Two-Tone Punk Skull Ring - Alexander McQueen - Gold (5.5)
Alexander McQueenTwo-Tone Punk Skull RingDetailsAlexander McQueen ring in yellow golden brass.Signature skull is topped with silvertone mohawk and encrusted with large amber colored crystal eyes and mouth.1 1/2inL overall.Tapered band.Made in...Only $350.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoTwo-Tone Punk Skull Ring - Alexander McQueen - Gold (5.5)
$350.00
Neiman Marcus
Art Smith by BARSE Faceted Multi Gemstone Necklace, Womens
Three cut ovals of genuine green opal are harmoniously graced by a necklace of aventurine, amber, turquoise and amazonite to create a Bohemian-style beauty. Metal: BrassStone: Genuine blue amazoniteOther Stones: Genuine orange aventurine, blue...Only $56.24 at jcpenney
no photoArt Smith by BARSE Faceted Multi Gemstone Necklace, Womens
$56.24
jcpenney
Panacea Two-Tone Crystal Station Drop Necklace
Panacea two-tone station drop necklace. Clear crystal stations. Amber-tone crystal veined station on strand. Rough pear cut orange pendant at drop. Approx. 33in long with 3 1/2in pendant. Pullover style.Only $81.00 at Last Call by NM
no photoPanacea Two-Tone Crystal Station Drop Necklace
$81.00
Last Call by NM
Tiered Resin Statement Necklace, Brown - Lee Angel - Red
Lee AngelTiered Resin Statement Necklace, BrownDetailsLee Angel statement necklace.Approx. 11 2/3inL chain.12-karat gold plated metal.Three tiered pear shape stations.Marquis and pear resin crystals decorate top with clear oval and amber round...Only $68.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoTiered Resin Statement Necklace, Brown - Lee Angel - Red
$68.00
Neiman Marcus
Orange Amber Cabochon Pendant Necklace in Sterling Silver. 18"
Add pizzazz to your look with this orange amber cabochon. Framed in polished sterling, the pendant hangs from a single fixed bale. Snake chain, lobster clasp. Sterling silver pendant necklace.Only $55.00 at Ross-Simons
no photoOrange Amber Cabochon Pendant Necklace in Sterling Silver. 18"
$55.00
Ross-Simons
Meyda Tiffany Pillar Candle Cover 117668 Size: 5.5" x 4", Color: Honey Amber
Size: 5.5" x 4", Color: Honey Amber Meyda Tiffany Pillar Candle Cover Features: -Candle cover.-Candle Material: Resin.-Collection: Candle cover.-Holder Type: Candlestick.-Style: Modern.-Finish: Orange.-Powder Coated Finish: No.-Distressed: Yes.-Hand...Only $49.50 at Wayfair
no photoMeyda Tiffany Pillar Candle Cover 117668 Size: 5.5" x 4", Color: Honey Amber
$49.50
Wayfair
Sterling Silver Baltic Amber Bracelet Jewelry
This Bracelet was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $213.74 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Baltic Amber Bracelet Jewelry
$213.74
JeGem.com
Uniquely You Amber Necklace
The natural variations in color and markings make this spectacular amber necklace a one-of-a-kind statement piece.Measures 19" in length.Only $348.00 at Danbury Mint
no photoUniquely You Amber Necklace
$348.00
Danbury Mint
Plexi Punk Skull Pendant Necklace, Red/Golden - Alexander McQueen - Red/Gold
Alexander McQueenPlexi Punk Skull Pendant Necklace, Red/GoldenDetailsAlexander McQueen necklace in yellow golden brass and marbleized red plexi.Signature skull pendant is topped with mohawk and encrusted with large amber colored crystal eyes and...Only $311.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoPlexi Punk Skull Pendant Necklace, Red/Golden - Alexander McQueen - Red/Gold
$311.00
Neiman Marcus

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