Since I decide to branch out from pure silver jewellery and develop a range of handmade amber pendants I have become fascinated by the unique nature of this wonderful substance and the centuries of lore surrounding it.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Amber that I have picked up along the way.
Amber is not a precious stone it is in fact fossilised tree resin (NOT sap).
Amber varies in age from 40 to 360 million years old.
The largest piece of amber ever found was in Borneo. It weighed 68kg. (150lbs).
Amber floats on salt water.
The largest entire animal ever found trapped in amber is a 9cm long Gekko found in a piece of amber in the Dominican Republic.
Amber is fluorescent with Dominican amber being the most fluorescent of all.
Amber comes in hundred of shades of yellow, gold, red, orange and brown as well as the less common blue, green and black. Amber that is full of air bubbles become opaque and ranges from deep butter to purest white.
Amber was thought by the Chinese to be drops of Dragon’s blood.
Amber generates an electrical charge.
Ancient Romans called Amber “Tears of the Sun” and paid more for an amber pendant than a healthy slave.
Hippocrates, the father of healing, believed Amber was effective against a number of common ailments.