Tales of Amber
Here you will find some of the old tales and anecdotes about amber from around the world.
Amber has long been considered a beautiful time capsule, and this is your chance to get to know it better.
Tales of amber
The world’s oldest amber is said to date to 300M years ago and has been found in Northumberland, England and Siberia. This amber comes from resinous trees that flourished on Earth between several ten and several hundred millions of years ago. Their sap was buried in the soil and sand and fossilized. Kuji Amber dates to 85 million years ago and is believed to come from evergreen trees of the Auracaria genus. It is the oldest amber with a commercial value.
With the exception of gemstones like pearls, coral, and tortoiseshell, which are derived from living creatures, most gems come from minerals. This makes amber, which is derived from plants, highly unique. As a result, natural insects, leaves, flowers, and bark become incorporated in the amber, creating a very rare appearance that is also of academic and scientific importance. You can find amber in colors like yellow, brown, red, white, blue, green, and black -- it numbers some 250 colors worldwide.
Amber comes from resin. While we tend to associate resin with pine sap, many different trees create amber, from coniferous to broadleaf trees. The trees responsible have varied by era. While some can still be found today, others have gone extinct. Furthermore, there are slightly color variations from place to place.
Amber production regions
Genus: Cryptomeria Japonica, a relative of the Auracaria genus
Some extant strains exist
Late Cretaceous period (85-90M years ago)
An extent strain can be found in the South American tropics. Usually found in reddish browns, gradients, and black.
Amber from the Baltic coast
Strain: close relative of Pinus succinifera
Pinaceae, now extinct
Late Cenozoic era (40M years ago)
Recently, the Araucaria theory is given the most credence. Typified by colors resembling beer, milky yellow, and white.
Amber from Fusi (China)
Stain: relative of Metasequoia
Some extant strains exist
Eocene epoch (40M years ago)
Considered a “living” fossil, extant species can be found in China
Typified by reddish dark brown.
Dominic Republic amber
Strain: relative of Hymenaea
Extant strains of broad leaved Fabaceae plants exist
Cenozoic era (24-38M years ago)
Extant species found in Central American tropics Usually found in a pale caramel color. Comparatively young and found in tropical forests, so this amber often has insects in it.
*While less prominent, a variety of other ancient tree species producing amber have been reported.