Tuesday, 11 November 2014


Recently I find items made from amber as interesting artefacts for investment due to its scarcity. Prices of amber bracelets and carvings are appreciating rapidly as people are attracted to the beauty this ancient material formed from tree resin tens of thousands of years ago.

Amber is formed from tree resin millions of years ago. Amber has been appreciated for its colour and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewellery.

It was reported that hundreds of prehistoric insects and other creatures have been discovered in a large haul of amber excavated from a coalmine in western India. An international team of fossil hunters recovered 150kg of the dirty brown resin from Cambay Shale in Gujarat province, making it one of the largest amber collections on record. The tiny animals became entombed in the fossilised tree resin some 52m years ago, before the Indian subcontinent crunched into Asia to produce the Himalayan mountain range.

Jewelry items made from amber
Good amber bracelets are sold for hundreds of dollars per gram. Some rare species can cost thousands of dollars per gram. The clear and transparent beads of amber have a diversity in colour, from yellow, blue to red. Some of the beads come with insects, leaves and many other debris trapped inside the amber as it was formed million of years ago.

It is interesting to note that as the resin dripped from the tree, it trapped whatever living things that were on its path down the tree trunk. Usually insects like ants and mosquitoes became the victims and fell prey to this sticky substance. This resin later hardened to a yellow translucent material that preserved these little creatures it trapped for hundreds of thousands of years. If you are a scientist, you can get very good specimens of insects that lived during prehistoric times for your studies into life during that period. But be reminded that these specimens are going to cost you a lot of money as these specimens are precious.

The clear transparent amber bracelet is ideal jewelry item to wear on one's wrist as it is light and attractive. If the amber carries some insects, it reminds one of things of prehistoric times. Sometimes one can imagine these little insects were struggling to get themselves out of this mass of sticky stuff.

This particular amber (above picture) recorded what took place thousands of years ago. As one insect was trapped in the resin dripped from a tree, another insect came along and began sucking the body content of the trapped insect. However, this predator insect was itself trapped again by similar resin that dripped from the same tree. It seems that these things of nature happened thousands of years ago are not uncommon today.

A very good bracelet of ancient amber
A mosquito inside the amber
As I learned more and more about this unique substance formed during prehistoric times, I got even more fascinated with things made from amber. I hope one day I do find some good specimens so that I can study them and enjoyed these remarkable things of nature.

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