Amber is not like other gemstones. While its counterparts are minerals, the yellow stone is of organic origin. Only amber is able to capture prehistoric animals, perfectly preserve them, and show us how ancient ecosystems looked like. If one day we were able to clone dinosaurs, it would be due to amber’s preservation capabilities. But that might be in the future and right now, we are able to enjoy its high aesthetic value as well as medical significance.

History of Amber

Amber has been known to humanity since ancient times. It lies shallow in the ground and is easy to cut. Hence, ancestors could mine and process it with the most primitive tools. The most ancient items made of amber are attributed to the Neolithic period.
The Ancient Roman writer Pliny the Elder was the first to study the origin of amber. He assumed that the gem was none other than solidified tree resin since it often features insect and plant inclusions. To prove his theory, Pliny conducted a few experiments and found out that when amber burns, it emits a resinous smell. Also, when heated, it produces a lot of smoke.
The first mention of amber in literature can be found in the Odyssey by Homer: "There came a man, well versed in guile, to my father's house with a necklace of gold, and with amber beads was it strung between" (Odyssey, Book 15).
The current name of the gem comes from the Late ‘ambar’. This word, in turn, is a derivative from the Arabic ‘anbar’. The name "bastard amber" was given to opaque specimens.

Amber bracelets, jewelry

Amber Metaphysicochemical Properties

Technically, amber isn’t a stone or mineral. It is the fossilized resin of coniferous trees. The average age of amber is 40-50 million years, although some specimens are almost 100 million years old. It belongs to soft, amorphous materials featuring unstable electrons. For this reason, amber is able to produce a charge of static electricity.
From a chemical point of view, amber is a blend of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. In addition, it has various inclusions and impurities such as iron, sulfur, aluminum, nitrogen, silicon, magnesium, calcium, manganese, sodium, bromine, iodine, and other trace elements. Most often, amber is translucent, as if filled with the sun. The most unique specimens showcase large inclusions such as insects, tiny animals, or plants trapped in resin or bizarre clusters of bubbles.
The hardness of the gemstone is quite low, only 2.0-2.5 on the Mohs scale. It is easy to cut but equally easy to scratch. For this reason, amber is a questionable choice for rings (unless they have a protected setting) or bracelets. That being said, Burmese amber or burmite is harder than its peers so it can be used in everyday jewelry. Unlike other species of amber that are cut en cabochon, burmite may feature facets. The color of the mineral varies from almost white and pale yellow to brown. The most valuable specimens offer green and even blue colors.

Amber gemstone for jewelry making

Deposits of Amber

The largest amber deposits are located around the Baltic Sea, mainly in the Baltic States, Poland, and Russia. Baltic amber (succinite) is mined with the help of water. Soil containing amber (the so-called blue earth) is broken by powerful jets.
Relatively small deposits of amber are found in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Romania, Ukraine, and Myanmar. The rarest blue amber is exported from the Dominican Republic.

Blue Amber from Dominican Republic, bracelet

Amber Healing Properties

People have discovered the healing properties of amber thousands of years ago. The unique combination of organic compounds and trace elements has a positive effect on health. The most valuable component of amber, succinic acid, has antioxidant, cytoprotective, and antitoxic properties.
Today, amber is sought-after in medical practice. It alleviates headaches and sore throat, improves cardiac activity, relieves toothache, as well as helps cure many other ailments.
Amber has a beneficial effect on the internal glandular environment of the body (blood, lymph, and tissue fluids). It is efficient in the treatment of joint diseases, relieves inflammation, and restores the work of venous valves. Amber is highly prized for its ability to prevent hemolysis (the process of destruction of red blood cells).
Besides that, amber helps reduce the risk of the occurrence of mastopathy, cysts, fibroids, and other types of tumors, including malignant ones. The gem is able to inhibit the division of pathological cells and accelerates the resorption of tumors.
Due to iodine content, amber beads are helpful in the treatment and prevention of thyroid diseases. The gem features many more elements affecting vital body functions and processes (iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, etc.), as well as salts of succinic acid. These components improve metabolism, positively impact the functioning of the digestive system, plus they offer anti-inflammatory and bactericidal effects.

Amber cabochons

Amber for sale

Amber Magical Properties

The magical properties of amber are as diverse as the medicinal ones. Since ancient times, it has been used as a powerful talisman and amulet. Amber is a source of creativity, faith, and optimism. It strengthens intuition and helps turn plans into reality. Besides that, it brings good luck, joy, and peace, as well as promotes courage.
Amber is recommended to pregnant women as it is believed to protect the fetus and ease delivery. Amber beads worn by nursing mothers help develop a cheerful and outgoing character in their babies.
Our ancestors used to place a piece of raw amber near the pillow to drive away evil spirits. To protect the home from fires and lightning strikes, they kept a few amber talismans.
Amber has a spiritual significance as well. Low grades of amber are utilized in religious ceremonies since it is able to burn and give off incense. In the past, newlyweds and newborns were fumigated with the smoke of burning amber for good luck.

Amber beads for jewellery making supplies

Amber beads for sale

Amber for Sale by KenKenGems

Looking for budget-friendly yet stunningly beautiful amber? Then don’t look further than KenKenGems. We supply a generous selection of amber for sale. Whether you’re in the market for alluring Baltic amber, astounding green amber, or nonpareil blue gems, we’ve got you covered. Beads, cabochons, strands, individual pieces and loose stones, drilled and undrilled, all of this is available in our online store. We invite you to browse through our amber inventory – competitive prices, many options to choose from, and unparalleled quality are guaranteed.

Baltic amber jewelry

Wide variety of our Amber collection