In the past few years amber jewelry has enjoy a rather aggressive increase in popularity. You can now buy amber jewelry in a vast array of different types of stores, from chain jewelry and trinket shops to local mom and pop general goods stores, and anything in between. Amber comes in a variety of colors - the most sought after color in the East is the light yellow colored amber. Amber was made 30-90 million years ago from the fossilized remains of a sticky resin produced by trees.
The resin then hardened; trapping debris such has leaves, seeds, insects and feathers which have since served as an impressive looking glass into a world long gone. Although amber is found along the shores of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, a large amount of amber is found in Sambia, a region once inhabited by various Baltic tribes which is now apart of Russia. Some amber is torn in pieces from the sea floor and is washed ashore by the waves. The pieces of amber are then collected on the shore and are sometimes even dredged up from the bottom on the sea floor.
Amber can also be mined and is called pit amber when extracted in this manner. Amber is used for many things including cigar-holders and the mouth-pieces of pipes. One of the most popular uses of amber is jewelry.
Amber jewelry comes in all different styles from modern to abstract. Some pieces of amber jewelry can very light straw color, a rich deep orange or a dark green with flecks of gold. Some pieces of amber jewelry can have feathers, seeds or bugs fossilized in them adding to the allure of wearing something ancient. Amber jewelry is most commonly set in silver, white gold or platinum.
Amber is commonly made into beads or used as center stones in pendants, earrings, necklaces and amber is even used in hair clips. The most common type of amber used in amber jewelry is Baltic amber. Amber is usually inexpensive compared to diamonds, but for a large clear piece with unusual debris it can be very expensive. Amber jewelry ranges in price from about $25 for a small pair of earrings to several thousand for some of the more unique styles of amber jewelry featuring several different shades of amber in one piece to extremely large pieces of Dominican red amber jewelry. Amber jewelry is unique amongst other jewelers' materials in that Amber is not actually a gemstone.
Gemstones have well defined atomic structures which give them planes of cleavage, which are responsible for the shimmer and luster of well cut diamonds and other gemstones. As a fossilized organic resin, amber does not contain such long range structure. Nevertheless, the superficial stony appearance of amber, as well as its optical qualities and workability, have led many to consider amber to be gemstone regardless of atomic structure.
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