Amber is one of the few organic gemstones. It is formed from the time-hardened fossilized resin of a kind of pine, the now extinct pinus succinifera, and others, from about 20 to 60 million years ago. It is light and warm to the touch, and produces static electricity when rubbed. It was known to the ancient Greeks as elektron, and in German as bernstein. In the middle ages powdered amber was burnt as an aromatic incense.
The leading source of amber is found in Russia about 30 meters below ground in clay, and the second in the Baltic Region where amber is formed in the seabed and found floating and washed ashore. Amber deposits also exist in Italy, Romania, China, Japan, Myanmar, Mexico, Canada and the United States.
Amber is most often a yellow to golden “Amber” color but the rind can oxidize turning red. Some Amber even exhibits a green or blue glow. Amber can have ancient insects or plant materials trapped inside, or even a trapped bubble of water or air.