This post contains affiliate links: Full Disclosure 

Amber is fossilized resin

What is amber

Amber is resin that fell from trees millions of years ago and fossilized. Amber is usually different shades of golden yellows and browns. It often has inclusions in it, like bubbles, sparkles, debris, or even fossilized insects or small animals.

tree resin creates amber
Amber is fossilized tree resin, like this resin leaking from a tree.

Amber is not a crystal. It’s a fossil. When it’s used in jewelry it’s considered to be a gemstone.

Find out more about what amber is and how it gives us a glimpse into the past in this blog post.

What amber is good for

Amber carries a warm, healing energy that calms the mind, body, and spirit. It also promotes positivity, creativity, and self-expression. Amber is a grounding stone that protects from negativity.

You may be drawn to amber for its link with ancient wisdom and the earth, as well as its natural beauty and warmth. Amber is for those who seek to connect with mother nature and the mysteries of the universe.

Amber brings so much more when cared for and used correctly. Here are all the things amber is good for and how to get the most from it.

Other names for amber

The most common other name for amber is Baltic gold or Baltic amber. This is amber that comes from the Baltic amber belt, along the shores of Lithuania, Latvia, Russia (Kaliningrad), Poland, southern Sweden, northern Germany, and Denmark.

But amber can also be called resinite or ambrite. Resinite is amber found in coal seams, and ambrite is resinite found in large deposits in coal seams in New Zealand.

The word amber also refers to a warm yellow to golden-brown color that looks like an amber stone.

What amber smells like

Amber smells warm, sweet, and woody, and this smell gets stronger when amber is rubbed. The scent comes from organic compounds trapped inside the resin.

But not all amber has a strong scent, and the intensity of the scent depends on things like the amber’s age and quality.

Click here to find out more about what amber smells like, why, and where the amber scent comes from in perfumes and essential oils (probably not where you think!)

Colors of amber

Amber comes in a range of colors, including:

  • Yellow: This is the most common color of amber and it ranges from pale yellow to deep golden yellow.
  • Orange: Some amber can have a reddish or orange hue.
  • Brown: Amber can also be dark brown or reddish-brown.
  • Green: Though rare, amber can have a greenish tint to it.
  • Blue: Blue amber is extremely rare. It’s found in the Dominican Republic and is highly prized for its unique color.
  • Black: This is not a natural color for amber, but it can be achieved through heat treatment or other processes.

Amber’s color is affected by factors like the type of tree it comes from, its age, and the geological conditions under which it formed. Also, some amber may have more than one color or even appear to change color depending on the light.

Amber versus other crystals

The difference between amber and Baltic amber

Amber and Baltic amber are both fossilized resin from trees. But Baltic amber is amber from the Baltic region in Europe, while amber is amber found anywhere in the world.

You can read about how Baltic amber formed, why it’s so special, and how much it costs in this blog post.

The Baltic region includes the shores of Lithuania, Latvia, Russia (Kaliningrad), Poland, southern Sweden, northern Germany, and Denmark. This is where the largest and most famous deposits of amber are found, and the amber from here has a rich color and a high quality.

Amber can be found in many parts of the world, including the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Canada, Myanmar (Burma), and various regions in Europe, such as Romania and Ukraine. Each region may have unique characteristics in terms of color, clarity, and the types of flora preserved within the amber.

The difference between amber and copal

Amber and copal are both from tree resin, but they are not the same thing.

Amber is millions of years old and a fossil, while copal is only a few hundred to a few thousand years old and not a fossil.

Amber is harder and more durable than copal, which is softer and can be more easily scratched.

Most amber has a rich golden or yellow-brown color, while copal is usually pale yellow to brown.

Amber is highly valued because of its age, rarity, and historical significance. Copal is less valuable and used for different purposes, like incense or varnishes.

Here’s an article that details the differences between amber and copal, and tests you can do to tell the difference.

Amber versus citrine

Amber and citrine are not the same, even though they can look similar. Amber is fossilized tree resin or a gem with a golden or yellow-brown color, while citrine is a yellow or golden quartz crystal.

Amber is organic and has historical significance, while citrine is a mineral formed through geological processes.

Photo of raw citrine to show it is quartz crystal
This is citrine, a quartz crystal. It’s not the same as amber, which is fossilized tree resin.

Want to know more? Check out my blog post on all the differences between amber and citrine.

Amber versus resin

Resin is a sticky substance produced by certain trees. It protects the tree by sealing wounds so germs can’t enter and make the tree sick. Resin is usually transparent or slightly yellowish in color.

Amber is fossilized tree resin that’s millions of years old and has solidified.  It has a golden color and is highly valued.

Amber versus gold

Amber and gold are not the same thing. Amber is fossilized tree resin and gold is a precious metal.

Though both are often a golden yellow color, amber is usually translucent or see-through golden brown. Gold is metallic yellow, dense, bright, shiny, and never see-through.

Gold is also much denser and heavier than amber, with a higher melting point and more value.

When heated to the right temperature, gold turns soft and can be shaped into different things, like jewelry and coins. This heated softness means it’s “malleable”.

Amber can turn malleable when heated but it’s more likely to burn than melt at high temperatures, so it’s usually just carved or cut into shapes with special tools.

Amber versus topaz

Amber and topaz are not the same thing. Amber is fossilized tree resin and topaz is a crystal.

Amber comes in a warm golden color, while topaz comes in a variety of colors, such as yellow, blue, pink, and colorless. Topaz is also much harder than amber.

Is amber expensive?

The cost of amber depends on the quality, color, and size of the piece, as well as how many people want to buy it and how much is available.

A medium-quality amber gemstone costs about $20 to $100 per gram. Amber is not as expensive as some other gemstones, but high-grade amber is still quite valuable at over $100 per gram.

Here is a table with the average price ranges of amber per gram:

QualityPrice Range (USD)
Low-grade amber$1 – $20 per gram
Medium-grade amber$20 – $100 per gram
High-grade amber$100 – several hundred $ per gram
© Jewel And Crystal Guide

Where to keep amber

The best places to keep amber are on your body, in a bedroom, on your desk, in the car, and as essential oil in a diffuser or an amber candle. Put amber wherever you need calm, upliftment, protection, healing, connection with nature and others, and focus.

Click here to get all my ideas on where to keep your amber and why.

How to cleanse and charge amber

Amber can be cleansed and charged in nature, using earth, fire, or wind. Put the gem in healthy soil, the smoke of a burning smudge or incense stick, or your own breath to purify and revitalize it.

Here’s a list with instructions on all the ways to safely cleanse and charge amber (and what not to do).

Once you’ve cleansed and charged amber, it’s good to use affirmations to ask the stone for what you need.

How to tell if amber is real

Because amber is so valuable, there is a lot of fake amber on the market. These fakes are made of copal, plastic, glass, synthetic resin, dyed or treated resin, or a combination of materials (read all about what fake amber is made of).

We use the Mohs scale to determine how hard or soft something is.

Amber is a 2 or 3 out of 10 on the Mohs scale, which means amber is quite soft.

This gives us one way to test if amber is real or not: If the stone can be scratched by a copper penny (3.5 on the Mohs scale, so harder) then there’s a chance it’s amber.

Click here for a complete list of methods and tests to tell if amber is real or not.

Who should wear amber

While anyone can wear amber, Taurus, Scorpio, and Pisces are believed to benefit most from this fossilized gemstone because of their astrological properties and what amber brings.

Here’s what each zodiac sign gets from wearing amber

More questions about amber

There are some common questions people have about real amber, so I put them all together and answered them here. These include things like if real amber floats, rusts, or changes color. So hop on over there next to keep reading.

Monique from Jewel and crystal guide

I’m Monique, and I’m passionate about giving the facts and uncovering the mysteries of jewels and crystals.

I believe there’s a place for both science and mysticism, and this is where the two meet for a cup of coffee and a chat.

Jewel And Crystal Guide participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs. If you buy a product or service through a link, I may receive a small commission from the sale for referring you, at no cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Sidebar - Free Guide
What you get from the Cleansing crystals PDF for free
Get it now button for sidebar


Monique loves crystals and has been collecting them for many years.

She loves learning about how they form, where they come from, and how they help us in our daily life.

She shares everything that she learns and tests here at Jewel And Crystal Guide.


Related Posts
Aventurine Vs Jade – Differences And How To Test A Stone

Aventurine Vs Jade – Differences And How To Test A Stone

Aventurine and jade can look a lot alike, especially when aventurine is dark green. Even though they can look the same, they definitely aren’t the same: Aventurine is quartz crystal that’s most often green and has a shimmer. Jade is one of two different materials:...

read more
Real Amber – 12 Most Common Questions Answered

Real Amber – 12 Most Common Questions Answered

Got some questions about real amber? I’ve already covered how to test if a piece of amber is real and everything you need to know about amber in this guide, but there are still a few unanswered questions that simply must be answered. So, without further ado, below are...

read more