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.
Amber is not a crystal. It’s a fossil. When it’s used in jewelry it’s considered to be a gemstone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
|Quality||Price Range (USD)|
|Low-grade amber||$1 – $20 per gram|
|Medium-grade amber||$20 – $100 per gram|
|High-grade amber||$100 – several hundred $ per gram|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.