Dear Friends of Crystalworks,
While contemplating what mineral best captured the essence of November, we were inspired by the colours of fall… warm tones of Amber, gold, brown and red falling from the trees and decorating the ground. Naturally the “mineral” we decided upon for this month was Amber. Amber, However is actually not a mineral and is not really a stone either, It is is the hard translucent fossilized resin produced by extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period. It is typically yellowish in color, though it can be red or brown or even in some very rare cases has a blue or green cast. According to experts in order for it to qualify as Amber, the material must be over 10 million years old, and contain succinic acid, otherwise it is known as Copal. Copal can be as young as a few hundred years and is not as nearly as durable as amber.
Amber originates in many parts of the world, Baltic amber is perhaps the best known and is mostly a yellow or brownish tone. Our favorite Amber, however, comes from a mine in Chiapis Mexico that was mined by the Olmec people going back over 1000 years. The amber from this site is 25 to 30 million years old. It can be gold, yellow or red or sometimes has the green cast that is actually an illusion and When it is put under short wave black light it displays fluorescence!!!