Amber is an organic gemstone created from fossilized tree resin. Amber has been used in adornments since the New Stone Age, up to 10,000 BC, although some amber is around 360 million years old.
Amber is famed for its inclusions – fossilized remains of plants and animals that no longer exist on the earth.
The ancient Greeks believed that amber was the tears of the Heliades, mourning the loss of their brother. In the middle ages, amber was burnt as its scent was thought to possess the power to draw illness from the body and alleviate pain.
A room made entirely of amber was constructed at the Catherine Palace, St Petersburg. Completed in 1755 the room was created from over six tones of amber and it was dubbed the ‘Eighth wonder of the world’. However, the room is now lost, supposedly looted by the Nazis during WWII, the precious monument has never been recovered.
Where is amber mined?
Amber is mainly mined in the Baltic region of Europe, though blue amber is only found in the Domincan Republic.
Amber is 1.5-2.5 on the Mohs scale.
Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Brown, Black, White.