An intriguing prehistoric time capsule, amber is rich, warm and perfect for all styles of jewelry.
Amber is warm in color and to the touch. An organic gem material, amber is formed from the resin of prehistoric trees, and has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. Amulets and beads have been recovered from Stone Age burial sites.*
Because of its organic origins, it is not considered a gemstone, but a gem material.
Scientists haven’t been able to identify exactly how long it takes to form amber, but it’s been recovered in in sedimentary rock material that dates to Cretaceous and Tertiary geologic periods (approximately 30-90 million years old).
From Tree to Jewelry
Amber gem material is found in the Baltic regions and the Dominican Republic. The color of amber ranges from white, to honey and cognac, deep cherry reddish brown and even blue.
The resin that forms the amber may have trapped debris like seeds, leaves, feathers and most interesting, insects, like in this amber pendant set in sterling silver from The Dinosaur Store, prices starting at $200
Factors like the type of tree and oxidation contribute to the color of amber.
For instance, pale yellow to white amber is caused by microscopic air bubbles, cherry amber is the result of exposure and oxidation, and blue amber formed from a tree similar to trees found in the Amazon rain forest.
Healing Properties of Amber
Before modern medicine, it was believed amber had healing and analgesic properties to ease pain from gout and other painful ailments. Today, mothers with teething babies credit the succinic acid (a mild analgesic) contained in amber to ease their baby’s teething discomfort. It’s believed the benefits of the amber is absorbed through the skin, not by actually teething on the amber beads.
According to Caryl Haxworth, of Charms of Light at charmsoflight.com, it’s also believed amber calms distress and emotional imbalance.
“Amber is a powerful healer and cleanser of the body, mind and spirit. It also cleanses the environment. Amber draws disease from the body, healing and renewing the nervous system and balancing the right and left parts of the brain. It absorbs pain and negative energy, helping to alleviate stress. Amber clears depression, stimulates the intellect and promotes self-confidence and creative self-expression. It encourages decision-making, spontaneity and brings wisdom, balance and patience.”
What’s better than combining the healing properties of amber with a spinner ring to ward off anxiety?!
Amber Jewelry is Fashionable and Affordable
Because amber is lightweight, it’s good for large statement pieces, like large necklaces, beaded or sculpted.
With its warm colors, amber compliments the crisp, cooling fall weather.
Reach out to any of the mentioned artists and jewelers featured above to add some amber to your jewelry box!
*Braid, Fara, “History and Legend of Amber-Gems of Yore”, International Gem Society, https://www.gemsociety.org/article/history-legend-amber-gems-yore/.