Different Varieties of Amber Jewellery

If you would like to buy some jewellery this Christmas what about something that is beautiful, long lasting and affordable? Amber is fossilised tree resin often over 40 million years old, it is impossible not to be fascinated by its past and beautiful warm colours.

The most famous type of amber and the one that has been used for thousand of years (not only to make jewellery but also in medicine and to make perfumes) is Baltic amber. This type of amber is found around the Baltic coast in what it is now Russia, is often mixed with sand and does not require mining. It is generally quite opaque in a very warm yellow or orange colour and very malleable. Its malleability means that it has also been used to carve small objects.

Amber from Dominica or the Greater Antilles in general is on the contrary very clear, in fact it is not uncommon to find trapped insects or plants in a piece of Dominican amber (the oldest DNA known to scientists is probably that of a bee found in a small piece of Dominican amber). Dominican amber is also famous for its blue amber, this amber does not look special under any type of artificial light but it has strong blue hues under sunlight. Unlike the Turkish black amber which is lignite and therefore not amber, Dominican blue amber comes from tree resin of species of trees that no longer exist.

One of the advantages of amber is that it often looks better in silver than it does in gold, with its strong yellow tones silver provides a better contrast. Therefore an excellent piece of amber jewellery does not have to break the bank. Amber earrings are always very popular the same as pendants (with or without the insect or flower inside them). Always go to a reputable store or jeweller as fake amber is quite common, generally anything that looks too good to be true, well it is.

If you touch amber it will feel warm, unlike plastic, if you rub with a jumper, t you will smell a faint aroma of pine and camphor. If in doubt the final test is to place your piece of amber in a glass of water together with to tablespoon of salt, real amber will float while plastic will sink. Any type of amber jewellery will be a present that will be loved for many years to come.