Golden Amber – Drops of Sunlight from the Forest and the Sea

Drops of golden sunlight emerge from the sea and lay as gifts left upon the shore, a treasure for those who discover them. Light in weight and warm to the touch, amber is uniquely beautiful to the eye.

Even in ancient times, amber was considered a treasure.

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‘Leo Sun’ Unique Sterling Silver Sunshine Necklace with Amber

Traditionally, amber has been used in jewelry, medicine, and perfume. It’s a very soft material and easy to carve pieces for jewelry. It has also been used as a protective stone for children, often worn as a necklace around the child’s neck.

Long ago, it was believed that smoke from amber that had been ignited could be used to fend off evil spirits, dangers, and enchantments. It was also used as a gem for the grieving and to honor the dead because it so perfectly preserved life; as can be seen by the insect and plant matter often captured within it.

Amber was even ground into powder and mixed with liquid to be used as an elixir, as it was thought to help cure disease and illness such as fever, stomach upset, asthma, infections, and epilepsy.

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‘Honey Dew’ Natural Mexican Amber Beaded Strand Long Necklace

Yet, what are these golden drops that look like captured sunlight? Do you know what amber really is? It isn’t a crystal or a mineral at all, even though it’s considered a gemstone.

It’s actually resin from trees. Trees from ancient forests of long ago. Not tree sap, but tree resin that’s secreted when a tree is in need of protection in some way – from disease, injury, or harsh living conditions.

In forests of ancient times, as the resin filled in the damaged parts of the tree, it dripped and oozed down the outer bark, trapping insects, plant matter, feathers, or even hair. After a time, when the trees fell, they were often carried by the rivers to the sea and buried deep in the ocean floor. The tree resin was fossilized over millions of years deep in the earth. Eventually, over time, golden pieces of fossilized resin would wash up on shore. A treasure of amber for those who found it.

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‘Golden Sun Drop’ Sterling Silver Dangle Amber Earrings

Color and Clarity of Amber

Today, these golden drops that look like captured sunlight are prized gemstones. The most valuable color of amber is typically a deep rich golden yellow. Red pieces are also considered desirable. Clear amber is a higher quality than pieces that look cloudy.

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‘Harmony Sunset’ Natural Amber on Sterling Silver Ring

Plant and animal matter captured in amber often add to its unique quality and do not really diminish its value.  Look closely at this amber ring and you’ll see these pieces that are called inclusions.

Amber is still praised by many for its perceived energetic and healing properties. It is said to be a natural purifier, absorbing negative energies and transforming them into clear, positive energy. Maybe it’s just like the help it brought to trees as resin long ago.

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‘Double Glow’ Handcrafted Amber and Gold-Plated Bead Stretch Bracelet

At NOVICA, artisans create stunning pieces using amber from Mexico and from the Baltic. Your purchase of this beautiful and unique gemstone in a handcrafted setting will support artisans to continue their craft, as well as giving you a beautiful piece of jewelry to treasure.




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