Birthstone Month :
Amber is not associated with any particular birthstone month.
Amber is associated with the zodiac sign of Taurus.
Chemical Symbol :
C10 H16 O ( H2S)
Chemical Make-up :
Amber is a mixture of Succinic acid, numerous resins and volatile oils. In addition to this, Amber also contains Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S).
History & Lore :
Amber is one of the three organic gemstones and is actually made-up of the fossilized resin of pine trees from between twenty and sixty million years ago. Amber produces static electrivity when rubbed and for this reason Amber was known as elektron to the ancient Greeks, which translates very simply as “electron”, and refers to the negatively charged particles in electricity. In the Middle Ages, Amber was known as bernstein, or “burn stone” in Germany, as powdered Amber was commonly burnt as an incense.
Amber helps to remove blockages in the flow of energy throughout the body and therefore works as an aid to strengthening the body. Amber has traditionally been used to bring protection, strength, love, luck and healing to the wearer. Amber is an excellent healing stone as it takes negative energy and transforms it into positive energy. Amber also helps to calm stressed nerves and to bring about humour and joy as well as acting as a guard against impotency and as an aid to fertility. Amber opens the crown and solar plexus chakras, thereby helping to increase intellect and confidence.
Amber availability is currently at a much higher level than in previous years, and supply is adequate even for the increased demand that has occurred over the last ten years or so. Dramatic increases in demand have been experienced for Amber that contains insect inclusions.
Today there are two main sources of Amber, these being the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Denmark, Norway), and the Dominican Republic. There are also known deposits in Canada, Columbia, England, Germany, Lebanon, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Romania, Sicily and the United States.
Amber is rated at 1.5 – 2.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, making Amber a very soft gemstone that may not immediately bw deemed suitable for jewelry purposes. However Amber is often used in all kinds of jewelry applications and providing that you take the correct precautions and wear your Amber with care, there is no reason why it should not form part of your jewelry collection.
Amber is found in a number of colors including, Black, Blue, Brown, Green, Orange, Red, White and Yellow, with rich golden Yellow being the color that most people associate with the gemstone Amber. The most valuable Amber is translucent and unlike other gemstones, inclusions actually enhance its rarity and beauty. These inlcusions are usually entrapped insects from thousands and thousands of years ago. The more complete the specimen of trapped insect / inclusion is, the more the value of the Amber increases.Amber is generally speaking a very affordable gemstone, but the very best examples can reach tens of thousands of dollars per carat.
Common Cuts :
Whilst Amber is occasionally cut or faceted, it is most commonly used cut or polished as a cabochon, fashioned as beads, or simply polished in whatever shape it was found in.
Routine Enhancements :
Amber is someties heat-treated or surface dyed. Heat treatments deepen the color and surface dying is used to add or even change color. Both of these forms of treatment are considered permanent.
Care & Cleaning :
Being that Amber is a very soft gemstone, care must be taken to avoid storing it with harder gemstones that will scratch its surface. When cleaning avoid harsh chemicals / treatments which will damage the stone. Use only water and a soft cloth to clean your Amber jewelry.