Saturday, 22 April 2017

Amber

Amber is fossilized tree resin. It is organic not mineral. The oldest amber dates to the Upper Carboniferous Period, about 320 million years ago.

An ant inside Baltic amber
Scientists and collectors treasure amber that contains suspended animal or plant fragments. These fossilized parts of once-living things were trapped in the hardening amber, creating a time capsule.

Amber's warm luster is featured in beads, carvings, pendants, cabochons, as well as decorative items.

Transparent amber is more valuable than cloudy. A plant or animal inclusion adds greatly to the value of an amber specimen.
Peter the Great’s Amber Room near St Petersburg was made from six tons of amber. A Prussian gift in 1716, It was lost during WW II, but recreated in 2003.

The word amber means brownish yellow, but the gem can be yellow, golden, white, orange to reddish brown, or even bluish or greenish.
Cutting and polishing amber for jewelry makes it more susceptible to oxidation by removing or thinning the harder exterior surface. Fine translucent yellow or orange amber can gradually darken to reddish brown and eventually black.