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What Is Amber

Amber is a fossilized tree resin from ancient forests. Many centuries ago resins trapped debris such as insects or air bubbles creating intricate designs of nature. Thus Amber, which is in fact a fossilized pine tree sap, is like an ancient antique from historical times.

Over the years it transforms into a warm and golden, or green colored organic gem. Demand is especially strong for amber with insects captured inside. According to David Federman, author of The Consumer Guide to Colored Gemstones-- "Amber is like a time capsule, made and placed in the earth by nature herself. It has helped paleontologists reconstruct life on earth in its primal phases. More than 1,000 extinct species of insects have been identified in amber.

" The two main sources of amber on the market today are the Baltic States and the Dominican Republic. Amber from the Baltic States is older and therefore preferred on the market, but amber from the Dominican Republic is more likely to have insect inclusions and is therefore more interesting. Properties of amber Amber is an amorphous hydrocarbon. It is an organic gem which is warm and golden, honey, butterscotch, lemon, or green colored. Since amber is a product of nature, therefore it is common to find air bubbles, insects, or small particles in amber jewelry. Such objects are not considered flaws, but rather a trait of genuine natural amber.

This is what gives amber its distinctive quality. Amber jewelry Highly prized for centuries by kings and nobles, today amber occupies a prominent place in contemporary jewelry design and is sold in exclusive boutiques throughout Europe. Exotic amber jewelry can be found on the market. Amber Jewelry Air bubbles reflecting sunlight like glitter, insects, and specks of prehistoric life - all have been trapped in the beautiful gem. No two pieces of amber can be alike, each is unique and different. Some pieces may be smooth and perfectly polished cabochons while some could be rough, raw amber pieces.

Some would be clear and see-through, and others with thousands of air bubbles reflecting sunlight like glitter. While buying amber, check whether the piece is genuine or counterfeit. Common imitations are plastic, glass, semi-fossil resins (copals), and reconstituted amber.

Glass is easy to detect, as it feels cold, is very hard, and is heavy. Copal feels slightly sticky to the touch, and it is usually much paler than fossil amber. Plastics can be trickier to detect.

Reconstituted amber is the most difficult, sometimes fooling experts; it is, after all, nothing more than amber chips made into a large piece with "filler" which is usually melted copal.

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