Facts about amber

We found 18 facts about amber

Fossilized tree resin

Amber is one of the most interesting natural products. It looks like a gemstone, but it is a fossilized tree resin from ancient trees dating back millions of years.

It has been used in medicine and jewelry since ancient times.

The largest deposit of this material is located in the Baltic Sea, and international trade in this commodity began over 5 thousand years ago.

It is a fossilized resin from ancient trees, often prized for its natural beauty and historical significance.

The oldest amber is approximately 320 million years old, making it a valuable window into prehistoric ecosystems and climatic conditions. This ancient resin often encapsulates small organisms, such as insects, and provides an invaluable insight into the biological diversity of past eras. In addition, amber has been used in jewelry and decorative items for millennia, demonstrating its enduring appeal across cultures and time.

The English word amber derives from the Arabic anbar.

Its ancient names(electrum in Latin and ēlektron in Ancient Greek) are derived from the Ancient Greek word ēlektōr, which means "shining sun".

The majority of amber in use is between 30 to 90 millions years old.
It is made up of about 78% carbon, 10% hydrogen, and 11% oxygen.
It has been used as a gemstone since antiquity.
Once polished, it glistens and resembles a gemstone.
It has been used in jewelry since 13,000 BC.
The largest deposit of amber comes from the Baltic Sea region.
The Baltic amber is the highest quality.
Amber has been used as a medicine.
In ancient Rome, amber dust was mixed with honey to cure a sore throat, while mixed with water was used to ease stomach pain.

Amber was also popular with ancient Persians, Japanese, and in China, where it was believed to strengthen the spirit.

In medieval times, amber extract was used as a lubricant on wounds.
Amber was used for incense.
It was used both during religious ceremonies and in hospitals because it was believed to accelerate recovery and help to concentrate.
Amber comes in various shapes and a wide range of shades.
Shapes resemble raindrops, rods, or lenses, and vary in shades of yellow, red, orange, brown, and even white opaque. Approximately 300 colors have been cataloged up to this day.
Amber often contains remains of insects, crustaceans, spiders, as well as plants.
The genetic material of organisms trapped within the amber is dissolved, so there is no possibility of recreating millennia-old creatures, such as dinosaurs, plainly out of the remnants from amber.
Paleontologists used organisms trapped within amber to identify over 1,000 extinct species.
Baltic amber has been found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs.
Scientists claim amber was supposed to represent the tears of Ra—the Egyptian god of the Sun.
A trade route between the North Sea, the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, was called an Amber Road.

It was established to transport amber between Northern and Southern Europe.

There was a chamber decorated with six tonnes of amber, known as the Amber Room.
Created for Frederick I of Prussia at the beginning of the 18th century, it was given as a token of friendship with Peter the Great and placed near St. Petersburg. During World War II, it was ransacked by Nazis and said to be brought to Germany. It has been reconstructed by 2003, however, presently it is an allegory of a lost treasure.
Amber possesses electrostatic properties.
It can produce static electricity when negatively charged by applying friction. Because of that, ancient Greeks named amber “elektron,” which became the basis for the word electricity.
Amber is associated with good luck and protection.
In some cultures, amber necklaces are gifted as good luck charms, to newborn babies to protect them from diseases, or as a marriage gift that represents eternal love.
Heated amber emits a pine-tree fragrance.
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