What on Earth is Amber?
Do you recall ever seeing jewelry with a glowing yellow orange-colored stone that usually has an insect preserved inside it? If yes, then you may be aware that this magnificent stone’s name is Amber – coming from the classical Latin name electrum which means “beaming Sun.” It’s called that because it resembles a sunbeam – but in stone form. Besides its etymology, did you know that Amber is NOT an actual gemstone but a fossilized tree resin? Well, now you know.
The History of Amber
Amber has been praised throughout the years for its radiant color and natural beauty. As early as 4th century B.C., amber has been mentioned in classical literary works. The earliest intact literary piece that describes this stone was written by the Roman author, Pliny the Elder.
According to his writings, amber may have originated from four possible islands: Heligoland in Zealand, the shores of Bay of Gdansk, the Sambia Peninsula, or the Curonian Lagoon. These sites are historically the richest sources of amber in Europe. Back then, people used to think that amber was “produced by the Sun.” However, Pliny also cited opinions of those who knew the true origin of Amber to which they referred as “tree juice.”
In the ancient times, the warm energy that this stone tends to exude was believed to possess special qualities. One of the most striking is that amber is extremely old. And because of its old age, amber is regarded as the “stone of wisdom”. In fact, the oldest amber discovered on Earth is estimated to be 320 million years old! Think about it; this stone has witnessed dinosaurs! Now you may think that amber only comes in one color, but that’s not true. Amber also comes in red, green, and the most highly-prized color that is found only in the Dominican Republic – blue.
The Powers of Amber
Due to its long historical presence, various cultures carry different mystical beliefs about this stone. In Asia, amber was considered as the “soul of the tiger” and was regarded as the stone of courage. People carry around amber fragments during long travels because it was believed that the stone offers protection as well as treat jaundice. In addition to these, amber is also believed to balance emotions, bring good luck, eliminate fear, relieve a headache, clear the mind, drive away negative energy, and help develop patience and wisdom.
Keep your eyes peeled for this stone next time you’re on a jewelry hunt. Feel the energy of the warmth and wisdom it brings and see if it is the stone for you.
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