Deposit sites: Poland, USSR, Sicily, Burma, the Dominican Republic, Canada, and the United States. China, Baltic coast, and Germany
Group: Organic Gem
Hardness: 2 ~ 2.5
Zodiacal sign: Leo, Libra
Color scheme: light yellow to dark brown; orange red, white, occasionally greenish or bluish
Gemstone of the month: June
Amber is the hardened, fossilized resin or sap of ancient pine trees formed about 50 million years ago. It is highly valued for its inclusions of insects, leaves and organic debris trapped within the sap during formation. When worn on the body, amber is believed to protect health, especially as a symptomatic relief for headaches, toothaches, infections, and respiratory discomforts. Ancient medicine men believed that amber healed just about everything, except love. Amber’s soothing effects are said to be enhanced by rubbing the stone.
Although amber is recovered from the seashore and mined, it has long been associated with the ocean. Its name is derived from the Arabic ‘anbar’ meaning ambergris (whale oil), perhaps causing a confusion perhaps because both substances were rare in ancient times and found on sea coasts. One early theory of the origin of amber says it was the tears of a sea bird.