The beauty of the natural dark green colors of Baltic amber makes a truly stunning gem. As with any amber, green amber is formed by the fossilization of amber from ancient pine trees that lived between forty and sixty million years ago. The naturally clear amber from the trees is colored by the organic material from plants that get caught in the drying material. The organic plant material contains various chemicals that react with the sticky resin to produce a variety of colors and patterns within the amber. The eye-catching beauty is largely due to these variations in the vibrant and rich colors of the green amber. While not as valuable as the less common clear or transparent amber, green amber is more expensive and sought after than the more common brown amber.
As with many gems, amber has a unique place in religions and traditions. To have the strength and courage of a tiger ancient Chinese cultures wore amber or “tiger’s soul”. In ancient Greece amber was believed to be the tears of Apollo’s daughters and was used to ward off evil spirits.
One unique aspect of amber is that it will burn if placed directly into a fire. This property attracted mystics who often burned amber in various ceremonies and rituals. In addition to the wonderful combustive properties of fire they also were drawn to the many reflections of light through the amber that gave the appearance of movement within the gem.
The first amber jewelry can be dated back to 12,000 B.C and the Paleolithic area. Amber was used as a valuable trading commodity by both the Romans and the Celts. As today, the Baltic area has always been the largest producer of amber, and in the 1100’s Gdansk was the major producer of natural amber.
Both gold and silver are used in combination with green amber to make beautiful jewelry. While not of a mineral origin, amber is still considered a gemstone. There are only a few other gems that are not minerals. The more patterned and colored the green amber is the more valued it is by jewelers. They are able to use the natural patterns in the amber to enhance the design of the ring, bracket, necklace or other item they are making.
A soft and warm gem, amber is gentle to the touch and very comfortable to wear. Since amber attracts and stores static electricity it may have some chemical properties that allow it to stay warm against the skin. It is a perfect gem for delicate settings and pieces as it is very lightweight.
Easy to care for, green amber requires a simple buffing to remove any scratches that may occur on its surface. Green amber is used to make all different types of jewelry items including rings, earrings, necklaces and brackets.