Does the color of amber necklaces matter?

Amber is is the fossilized resin of ancient pine trees, and it has been appreciated for its unique beauty and healing properties for thousands of years. Since the neolithic era, amber has been valued as a precious gemstone, and has been incorporated into jewellery design, natural remedies, works of art as well as decorative ornaments. Amber is truly a natural wonder, and forms when the resin produced by an injured tree is preserved between layers of sediment, and undergoes a gradual process of fossilization until it becomes hard amber. This process takes millions of years, and it’s essential that the precise conditions are met for the formation of amber to take place.

Colours and Shades of Amber

The conditions and the environment in which the amber was formed also affect its colour, which includes the climate and region the tree was located in, exposure to sunlight and rain, and where the resin was when it was fossilized (such as whether it was inside or outside the tree). The colour, opacity and translucency of amber gives a strong indication of its composition, properties and history.

At the mention of amber, we often assume it’s a translucent yellowish or orange-red stone. Whilst this certainly is one of the most common colours amber is found in, the reality is that there are vast numbers of variation when it comes to the colour of amber, encompassing seven colours in hundreds of different shades. The seven colours of amber are:

  • Light yellow
  • Solid yellow
  • Light cognac
  • Dark cognac
  • Dark cherry
  • Black
  • Green
  • Blue

Which Colour of Amber is Best?

Yellow amber, in the light and solid variants, is by far the most easily available and popular colour and is what is usually associated with a ‘typical’ amber colour. The distinctive yellowish-orange colouring of yellow ambers is attributed to their location in the sea, on beaches or besides water reservations and sources during their formation. Constant exposure to sun and rain means that the amber absorbed the yellow colouring and developed vibrant and vivid shades of yellow.

Cognac ambers, on the other hand, are esteemed for their deep brown and red hues, and are considerably more rare than yellow ambers. It is believed that this colouring happened when the fossils were formed underground and were not as exposed to elements such as rainfall and sunlight, resulting in a much deeper colour.

Dark cherry is a highly-coveted and relatively uncommon amber colour, and it only occurs naturally when it is exposed to extremely high temperatures, such as through the heat generated by intense forest fires. Dark cherry amber is revered because of its intensely vivid colouring in the deepest of red shades.

Black amber is somewhat unique because it’s not entirely fossilized resin, and instead receives its black colouring from any soils, debris or other inclusions that were absorbed into the resin. This only enhances it beauty however, especially because when you hold black amber to the light it is actually not pure black but a gorgeous deep red or brown instead.

Green ambers are also incredibly rare, and are most usually found in forests. The abundance of green pigments in the surrounding plants were absorbed during the formation of the amber, giving it a pleasing greenish hue. With green amber, the brighter and more apparent the greenish hue is the more expensive it becomes.

The rarest of all ambers, however, is blue amber. Unlike other colours of amber it can’t be sourced in the Baltic region, and originates instead in the sparkling azure waters and sandy beaches of the Caribbean, and even then mainly in the Dominican Republic. Only minute amounts of this natural resin have been discovered, as a result of which finding anything made from blue amber is a challenge. It is for this reason that blue amber is highly valued and prized.

Ambers Necklaces, Bracelets and Beads

Amber has been used in the making of jewellery since ancient times, and even in the contemporary era it continues to be a popular choice in the design of fine jewellery. The colour and shade of the amber has a significant effect on the overall appearance and aesthetic of the jewellery, although each of the seven colours of amber mentioned above are effortlessly and breathtakingly beautiful in their own unique ways.

The Baltic Sea Region is renowned for the yields of incredibly beautiful and premium quality amber which have been discovered there. The climate and environment of this gorgeous area has created the perfect set of conditions required for the formation of amber. Moreover, the presence of fields and forests of pine trees in the Baltic Sea Region has enabled the development of gorgeous amber deposits throughout the ages.

Amber Teething Necklaces and Bracelets

Amber also continues to be a popular accessory for teething infants and toddlers, especially in the form of teething necklaces and bracelets. True amber contains around 3% to 8% of succinic acid, which is a compound with potent anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. In theory, when a baby wears amber beads in the form of necklaces and bracelets, their body heat will trigger the release of succinic acid and provide them with much-needed pain-relief.

A prevalent myth when it comes to succinic acid is that lighter coloured or transparent ambers contain more of this compound than darker or more opaque ambers. The reality is that all colours of amber possess the same healing properties, and even if differences to exist they tend to be negligible. Each colour of amber is truly beautiful and unique in its own way, and no one colour is more superior to another.

If you’re looking for amber jewellery or ornaments you can select whatever colour of amber you want depending on availability, budget and your personal preferences. Whichever colour you go for, you will be able to enjoy the unparalleled beauty, healing properties and soothing touch of amber has made this precious resin such a prized possession for thousands of years.

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