Types of Amber

Amber is fossilized tree resin (not sap), which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times.

The oldest amber recovered dates to the Upper Carboniferous period (320 million years ago).

Types of amber

Baltic amber

Baltic amber – the most common amber variety, found along the shores of a large part of the Baltic Sea. It dates from 44 million years ago (during the Eocene epoch). It has been estimated that these forests created more than 100,000 tons of amber. Baltic amber includes the most species-rich fossil insect fauna discovered to date.

Amber typical varies from light to dark orangy brown
Courtesy Martha Zuniga

Black amber – aka Oltu stone,is a kind of jet found in the region around Oltu town within Erzurum Province, eastern Turkey. The organic substance is used as semi-precious gemstone in manufacturing jewellery.

 Blue amber is amber exhibiting a rare coloration. It is most commonly found in the amber mines in the mountain ranges around Santiago, Dominican Republic, but also in the eastern parts of the Dominican Republic. Although little known due to its rarity, it has been around since the discovery of Dominican amber.

Burmese amber (99- 112 myo) with huge perfect scorpion

 Burmese amber – also known as burmite, is a Cretaceous age amber up to 99 million years old found mainly in the Hukawng Valley, Kachin State, Myanmar (Burma). The most common amber containing insect inclusions of the Cenomanian.

Copal from Madagascar with spiders, termites, ants,
elateridae, hymenoptera, cockroach and a flower

 Copal is a name given to tree resin from the copal tree Protium copal (Burseraceae) that is particularly identified with the aromatic resins used by the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica as ceremonially burned incense and other purposes.

Green amber from Dominican Republic

Green amber like its yellow and blue counter parts release a natural scent which is pleasant to the nose. This fragrance can be enhanced by adding nitric acid to a melted green amber. Although this is inadvisable for those amber that are already set as jewelries. Green amber when worn against the skin produces a very pleasant scent which is piney and soft.

Caribbean green-honey amber credit: Hermann Dittrich

Caribbean amber is amber from the island of Hispaniola, consisting of Haiti and the Dominican Republic; it is the only island in the Caribbean where amber retinite has been discovered and is mined. Dominican amber is found in various natural colors, among them fluorescent green and blue.

Mexican amber nuggets | by National Museums Scotland

Mexican Amber – found mainly in Chiapas in Mexico, roughly contemporary with Miocene era Dominican amber, and produced by the extinct Hymenaea Mexicana tree, a relative of the Hymenaea Protera tree responsible for producing Dominican Amber.

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