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
Sterling Silver Baltic Amber Hook Earrings
Handmade by Master Artisan. See more details at JeGem.com.Only $118.49 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Baltic Amber Hook Earrings
$118.49
JeGem.com
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
Hinged Double-Skull Bracelet, Black - Alexander McQueen - Black
Alexander McQueenHinged Double-Skull Bracelet, BlackDetailsSet 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, Black - Alexander McQueen - Black
$495.00
Neiman Marcus
Plexi Punk Skull Ring, Red/Golden - Alexander McQueen - Red/Gold (6)
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)
$245.00
Neiman Marcus
Aris by Treska Boho Statement Necklace
Reinvent yourself with a colorful, tiered necklace that s got all the bells and whistles to turn you into a boho babe. Metal: Antiqued gold-tone metalStones: Burnt orange, blue, amber and aqua stones in various shapes and sizesClosure: Lobster...Only $40.00 at jcpenney
no photoAris by Treska Boho Statement Necklace
$40.00
jcpenney
Art Smith by BARSE Turquoise, Amber & Carnelian Ring, Womens
Bold, beautiful jewelry pieces are designed to be seen. Wear this ring featuring genuine turquoise, amber and carnelian with pride.Metal: BrassStones: Genuine turquoise, carnelian and amberGallery Height: 8mmGemstones may be treated and may require...Only $83.32 at jcpenney
no photoArt Smith by BARSE Turquoise, Amber & Carnelian Ring, Womens
$83.32
jcpenney
Multi-Strand Ombre Crystal Necklace - Panacea
PanaceaMulti-Strand Ombre Crystal NecklaceDetailsPanacea multi-strand crystal necklace.Approx. 19 1/2in long.Small faceted crystal beads at top.Ombre square crystal beads drop from small crystals.Clear, amber and light pink crystals.Lobster clasp with...Only $125.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMulti-Strand Ombre Crystal Necklace - Panacea
$125.00
Neiman Marcus
Sterling Silver Baltic Amber Hook With Lock Earrings
Handmade by Master Artisan. See more details at JeGem.com.Only $77.99 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Baltic Amber Hook With Lock Earrings
$77.99
JeGem.com
Pendant with Tagua Sun and Amber (Large Size)
Tagua (tah-gwah) is a plant alternative to ivory. A large, hard nut that can be cut, shaped and sculpted into. Get this beautiful Tagua sun face in a ...Only $55.00 at Yoga Direct
no photoPendant with Tagua Sun and Amber (Large Size)
$55.00
Yoga Direct
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
Sterling Silver Baltic Amber Pendant
Handmade by Master Artisan. See more details at JeGem.com.Only $176.24 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Baltic Amber Pendant
$176.24
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
Sterling Silver Baltic Amber Pendant
Handmade by Master Artisan. See more details at JeGem.com.Only $80.24 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Baltic Amber Pendant
$80.24
JeGem.com
Plexi Punk Skull Ring, Red/Golden - Alexander McQueen - Red/Gold (7.5)
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 (7.5)
$245.00
Neiman Marcus
Sterling Silver Baltic Amber Pendant
Handmade by Master Artisan. See more details at JeGem.com.Only $95.99 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Baltic Amber Pendant
$95.99
JeGem.com

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