Amber - to know gemstones better
Amber is an organic gem. Organic gems are the products of living, or once living organisms and biological processes. It is fossilized tree resin that was formed tens of millions of years ago. The process required for tree resin to become Amber involves molecules combining to form something more complex.
The word “amber” comes from the Arabic “anbar”, meaning “fragrant substance”. The Greeks called amber “electron”, or “made by the sun,” because of amber’s ability to generate a static charge, and this is why we call it electricity. Amber has always been linked to the sun, also because of its golden color and light weight. Because of it’s association with the sun, amber was regarded as a guiding magical light in the afterlife. It is found in ancient burial sites, such as in Egypt. Also it floats in saltwater so some people call it “Seastone.” Amber has been with humanity a long time; Amber amulets and beads have been found in Stone Age archaeological sites, being traded far and wide in the ancient world. Amber smells good when you rub it. Although an oil made from burned amber was used in scents in ancient times, it isn’t used in perfume today.
Today’s scientists value amber too, but why? Here are some interesting facts about Amber:
- Amber often contains natural imperfections and fissures as well as prehistoric inclusions, such as seeds, leaves, feathers, and even insects.
- It provides a three-dimensional window into prehistoric ecosystems through the myriad animal and plant inclusions it contains.
- The oldest amber dates to the Upper Carboniferous Period, approximately 320 million years ago.
- 1,000 extinct animal species, as well as various types of plant matter have been identified in amber.
- Amber containing larger animals like scorpions, snails, frogs, and lizards can be very valuable, especially if the animal “inclusions” are preserved intact.
- The story of the movie “Jurassic Park” centered around the cloning of dinosaurs from DNA found in dinosaur blood sucked up by prehistoric mosquitoes that were subsequently preserved in amber. Although the movie is fiction, scientists extracted DNA from insects enclosed in 120 million years old amber.
Amber comes in a huge range of colors including blue, brown, golden, green, orange, red, white and yellow. Let’s mention some properties of amber:
- Organic, not mineral: Fossilized resin
- Chemistry: C10H16O
- Refractive index: 1.5 – 1.6
- Specific gravity: 1.06 – 1.10
- Mohs Hardness: 2.0 - 2.5
- Melting point of 250 - 300 °C
While amber isn’t a birthstone, it is associated with the astrological sign of Taurus. Let’s talk about how to care and clean this amazing jewelry
You will receive many compliments when wearing amber, but it needs to be cleaned frequently so that it continues to shine.
Never use an ultrasonic jewelry machine or a steam cleaner. They can damage the polish and cause significant damage to the stone.
Use slightly warm water and mild soap, and use your fingers to wash it off, then dry it with a flannel cloth.
Use a drop of olive oil and a soft cloth to polish and shine the amber.
Clean and polish your stone before storing it and make sure to store it separately from your other jewelry, or wrap in a soft cloth.
You need avoid many things about amber:
- If perfume and sprays get onto the surface of amber, it can lose its shine forever.
- Keep it away from direct sunlight as much as possible.
- Extreme temperature can damage your stone.
- And avoid cooking and cleaning while wearing amber.
- Baabak Mor