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What is amber definition, amber term, types etc.
General information about amber, amber photos.
Definition of amber. On this page you will find basic information about amber: what is amber? You will know the definition of amber (amber definition), what types of amber exists, how old is amber, you will see images of natural amber (Baltic amber and Ukrainian), you will know what does word "amber mean", you will know why natural amber feels worm, you will know about the healing properties of natural amber, physical properties of amber, colours of amber and how people use it.
What is amber?
Amber is the fossilized resin of ancient trees which forms through a natural polymerization of the original organic compounds. Most of the world's amber is in the range of 30-90 million years old.
Amber, or fossil tree sap, was made famous in the movie "Jurassic Park". Amber is a beautiful stone that is cut and polished and used as a valuable gemstone. It is also a fossil and can contain many preserved insects and other animals and plants that are tens of millions of years old.
The odd inclusions that are often seen in amber usually add to amber's unique look and in many cases greatly increase its value.
Word "amber" (the name is derived from the old Arabic word "anbar"), but greek "elektron" (if you rub amber on a cloth it becomes charged with negative electricity/ that`s the origin of the word electricity).
Amber in other languages:
Dutch: amber , barnsteen
French: ambre , ambre jaune
Polish: bursztyn, (obsolete) jantar
Amber is warm
Amber is a poor conductor of heat and feels warm to the touch (minerals feel cold).
Age of amber
Million years ago large stands of forests in some parts of the world began to seep globs of sticky resin! This aromatic resin oozed down the sides of trees, as well as filling internal fissures, trapping debris, such as seeds, leaves, feathers and insects.
As geologic time progressed the forests were buried and the resin hardened into a soft, warm, golden gem, known as amber.
Amber and mineralogy
Amber is known to mineralogists as succinite, from the Latin succinum, which means amber. Heating amber will soften it and eventually it will burn, a fact that has given rise to the name of bernstein, by which the Germans know amber.
Rubbing amber with a cloth will make it electric, attracting bits of paper. The modern name for amber is thought to come from the Arabic word, amber, meaning ambergris.
Ambergris is the waxy aromatic substance created in the intestines of sperm whales. The substance is related to cholesterol and is formed to protect the sperm whale from the sharp beaks and stings of its major food source, the giant squid.
Ambergris was used to make perfumes. Ambergris and amber are only related by the fact that both wash up on beaches.
Physical Properties of Amber
A mineral is a naturally occurring homogeneous solid with a definite chemical composition and ordered crystalline structure. It is usually of an inorganic origin. Amber is not a mineral, because it has an organic origin and amorphous structure (no orderly internal arrangement of atoms).
Can vary greatly depending on the botanical source, though all have terpenes or compounds that are linked as the resin matures. It is thought that Baltic amber, or succinite, contains 3-8% succinic acid (succus is Latin for juice); succinic acid is believed to form from microorganism-induced fermentation of the cellulose contained in the resin. One composition of an amber variety is: oxygenated hydrocarbon (carbon 67-87%, hydrogen 8.5-11%, oxygen 15%, sulfur 0-0.46%). Although this composition was believed to be the hardened tree resin from the genus Pinus, chemical studies show these pines were not the source of Baltic amber.
The average composition of amber leads to the general formula C10H16O.
Color: varying shades of yellow, orange, red, white, brown, green, bluish, "black" (deep shades of other colors).
Hardness: 1-3. Burmese amber, or amber from Myanmar, is the hardest at 3 on the hardness scale; Baltic amber is usually in the range of 2-2.5; Dominican amber is the softest at 1-2. Geologically younger amber tends to be softer than amber that has been buried for a long time
Use of amber
Jewelry (including beads, bracelets, pendants, and earrings), buttons, bangles, carvings (including chess pieces), cigarette and cigar holders, mouthpieces for pipes and brass horns (e.g., cornets), etc.
Baltic amber Mine in Kaliningrad oblast - Yantarny / Palmnicken
Samples of raw / rough amber material (natural amber stones)
Small pieces of Baltic amber
50 million old amber piece with insect inclusion
AMBER JEWELRY MADE FROM BALTIC AMBER
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Updated: July 16, 2007