In about 600 B.C, the Greek, Thales of Miletus, discovered that amber, when rubbed with woolen cloth attracted small bits of straw. Amber in Arabic means straw robber. However, the Greeks termed this static electric phenomena Amber
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Amber is a yellow transparent and translucent material that is often tinted gold, orange or red and sometimes clouded by tiny air bubbles.
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What Is Amber Stone?
Contrary to popular belief, amber is not a true gemstone. In fact, it is fossilised tree resin that can range in age from 30 to 90 million years. . This resin is generally found in ancient evergreen trees.
While amber is often thought to come in golden, yellow and occasionally red tones, the rarest color of amber crystal ever discovered is blue. The discovery of blue amber is fairly recent, and has only just started appearing in jewellery.
Amber is found in many places around the world, from Alaska to Madagascar. However, the largest deposits that have been exploited for jewelry and science have been in the Dominican Republic, the Baltic region of Europe, and Myanmar (formerly Burma)
- The Baltic amber, or the Eocene age amber, dating back to the Eocene ageabout 56 to 33.9 million years ago is the most common amber variety, found along a large tract of the Baltic Sea shores.
- The Bitterfeld amber, from Bitterfeld in Germany is of equivalent age to Baltic amber and has historically been suggested to be synonymous with it.
- The Burmese amber, also known as burmite, is a Cretaceous(Cenomanian) age amber about 99 million years old found mainly in the Hukawng Valley, Kachin State, Myanmar (formerly Burma). Amber with Cenomanian insect inclusions of the have been mined in large amounts since late 2010s becoming one of the most available types of amber.
- The Canadian amberalso known as chemawinite or cedarit is found near Cedar Lake in Manitoba) dates from the same age as Cretaceous (Campanian)
- The Charentese amberis an opaque amber found in the Aquitaine Basin, France. Cretaceous (Cenomanian) age.
- The Cambay amber,dating from the Eocene age is found in Gujarat, India. Unlike most ambers, it readily dissolves in solvents.
- The Dominican amber, which is nearly always transparent usually has a higher number of fossil inclusions than Baltic amber and is from theMiocene The Blue amber, a rare color variation, is found most commonly i in the Dominican Republic.
- The Ethiopian amber, formerly considered Cretaceous, is now considered Miocene age.
- The Fushun amberisfound near Fushun, China and dates back to the Eocene age.
- The Kuji amber from Kuji of Iwate Prefecture in Japan is considered to be from the Cretaceous (Santonian) age.
- The Jordanian amber in Jordan dates back to the Albian
- The Lebanese amberfound in Lebanon, Levant and Jordan, is believed to be the oldest amber containing significant numbers of inclusions. It dates back to the early Cretaceous (Barremian)
- The Mexican amberfound mainly in the Chiapas of Mexico,is deemed to be roughly contemporary to the Miocene era Dominican amber. It is produced by the extinct Hymenaea mexicana tree, a relative of the Hymenaea protera tree responsible for producing Dominican Amber.
- The New Jersey amber– Found on the Atlantic coastal plain of North America, dates back to the Cretaceous, Turonian.
- The Oise amberfrom the Oise region in France dates back to the Eocene age
- The Rovno amber found in the Rivne regionof Ukraine is of similar age to Baltic amber from the Eocene), and sharing some species.
- The Sakhalin amberfrom the Eocene age is from Sakhalin in Russia,.
- The Spanish amber from Northern and Eastern Spain belongs to the Cretaceous (Albian) Sri Lankan amber found in sea coast in very small quantities is also called the Indian amber or Indian sea amber.
- The Sumatran amber found in Jambi, Indonesia, is a relatively young amber in the 20-30 million year It does not usually have clear inclusions since very few insects are found compared to other ambers.
Generally amber is divided into three main categories.
- Natural Baltic amber (Succinite) gemstone which has undergone only mechanical treatment such as grinding, cutting, turning or polishing without any change to its natural properties.
- Modified Baltic amber (Succinite)– gemstone subjected only to thermal or high-pressure treatment, which changed its physical properties, including the degree of transparency and color, or shaped under similar conditions out of one nugget, previously cut to the required size.
- Reconstructed (pressed) Baltic amber (Succinite)– gemstone made of Baltic amber pieces pressed at high temperature and under high pressure without additional components.
All amber beads that are not hand cut or tumble polished are pressed. Hand cut beads made from Baltic Amber are very expensive. Beads made from a single stone that are formed under pressure are of very high quality but less expensive than hand cut beads. They are more durable than hand cut beads.
“Faturan” became the protected brand name of one particular German company who mass-produced synthetic resin in rod form for making beads. These beads are now rare, but rarer still are the handmade beads of Arava Faturan’s time.
The first Bakelite that arrived in Turkey and the Middle East in the early 1900s was mainly in the form of drawer and furniture knobs and handles. This coincided with the appearance of the first prayer bead strands made of Bakelite began to appear on the market.
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