Amber stones were formed about fifty million years ago in the Tertiary period from the fossilised resin of trees and can often contain the fossilised remains of insects and, more rarely, small animals such as mosquitoes and frogs. Amber has been used for jewellery since the prehistoric times and is still used today.
Most amber is golden yellow to golden orange, however some red, green, violet and black amber has been found. Amber can be translucent or transparent and can contain air bubbles, which will give amber a cloudy appearance, but heating in oil clears this .
The most famous deposits are in the Baltic region; Baltic amber can be washed up on the sea beds and can reach as far as England, Norway and Denmark. It can also be found in Dominican Republic, Mexico, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Romania, Canada and the USA.
Amber is one of the softest gemstones so make sure that you take extra care to avoid damage and scratching. To avoid amber jewellery dehydrating do not leave in the sun and where possible avoid wearing it in the heat of the day.