I just love to see what has been trapped in this fossilised tree resin! From bits of vegetation to insect parts and air bubbles.
Much used in jewellery and, apparently, one of the first materials used for ornamentation by prehistoric man.
Amber is a resinous tree sap that has hardened. The trees that produced the sap were usually conifers, but not exclusively. It is often classed with precious and semi-precious stones due to its use in jewellery, but in the 19th Century it was often melted down to product high quality varnishes and lacquers. Its chemical group is Succinic Acid.
Whilst not all pieces contains insects such fossil specimens are known from many sites: the Baltic Sea coast, Dominica, New Zealand, Russia (one of the world’s biggest mines is in Kalingrad), Columbia, etc. Amber from Columbia is often referred to as “Copal” and frequently has very interesting inclusions.
Amber makes a beautiful little ornament and conversation piece which would fit in with almost any decor. Then again, just as since prehistoric times, it is also available in the form of jewellery, in this case a pendant.
© Copyright Charlotte M Bailey 2012
There are higher resolution versions of most of the other images in this blog below this next one.