Green amber is a form of natural Baltic amber that has a very dark, rich green color. Amber of any color is formed from fossilized resin produced by pine trees, and most amber is between forty and sixty million years old. The green occurs when organic material from plants is trapped within the natural amber, giving the green color. The various chemical compositions and variations on the plant materials that became covered with the thick and sticky resin provide the variations and patterns in green amber.
The tones and shades of green will vary within the amber, and the unique rich colors will captivate the eye and draw attention to the beauty of the gem itself. Green amber is considered to be more valuable than the more common brown amber, but the most valuable and rarest of ambers is the clear and completely transparent amber.
Amber and legend
In many ancient traditions and religions, amber is seen to have a special place. The ancient Chinese defined amber as “tigers soul” and wearing amber was believed to give the wearer the strength and courage of a tiger. The ancient Greeks believed that amber represented the tears of Apollo’s daughters, and considered the gems to ward off evil spirits.
Due to the amber’s chemical composition, it first attracted mystics with its properties of transparency and the appearance of movement within the gem as the light hit from different directions. In addition amber would burn if heated in a fire, and this added to its qualities and uniqueness.
Amber jewelry has been found that dated to the Paleolithic area, around 12,000 B.C. Both the Celts and the Romans used amber as a rare commodity in trading. In the 1100’s Gdansk was the major center of amber production, and the Baltic area continues to be the largest producer of amber to this day.
Green amber in jewelry
The beautiful rich colors of green amber make it a natural match for both silver and gold jewelry. Green amber (like all amber), while considered a gemstone, is one of the few gems that is not of mineral origin. The more colored and patterned the green amber is the more the jeweler can use these patterns to work into the setting of the gem. Green amber that also contains fossilized material is very rare and very valuable.
Green amber is a soft gem, and is very warm to both the touch and to wear. It is not cold against the skin like other gems, and amber collects and stores static electricity. Very lightweight, amber is an excellent gem for earrings as it adds little weight to the metal that it is set in.
Green amber is used in making bracelets, necklaces, rings and all other forms of jewelry. Green amber is easily cared for with simple polishing or buffing to remove the slight scratches that may occur on the surface of this soft gem.