16 Facts About Amber


Amber is fossilized tree resin that has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times.

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Amber is used in jewelry and has been used as a healing agent in folk medicine.

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Amber occurring in coal seams is called resinite, and the term ambrite is applied to that found specifically within New Zealand coal seams.

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Amber used in antiquity, as at Mycenae and in the prehistory of the Mediterranean, comes from deposits in Sicily.

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Amber is produced from a marrow discharged by trees belonging to the pine genus, like gum from the cherry, and resin from the ordinary pine.

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Amber has a long history of use in China, with the first written record from 200 BCE.

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Amber is heterogeneous in composition, but consists of several resinous bodies more or less soluble in alcohol, ether and chloroform, associated with an insoluble bituminous substance.

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Amber is globally distributed, mainly in rocks of Cretaceous age or younger.

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Amber has often been imitated by other resins like copal and kauri gum, as well as by celluloid and even glass.

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Amber is a unique preservational mode, preserving otherwise unfossilizable parts of organisms; as such it is helpful in the reconstruction of ecosystems as well as organisms; the chemical composition of the resin is of limited utility in reconstructing the phylogenetic affinity of the resin producer.

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Amber sometimes contains animals or plant matter that became caught in the resin as it was secreted.

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Amber is conducive to preserving DNA, since it dehydrates and thus stabilizes organisms trapped inside.

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Amber has been used since prehistory in the manufacture of jewelry and ornaments, and in folk medicine.

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Amber ornaments have been found in Mycenaean tombs and elsewhere across Europe.

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Amber has long been used in folk medicine for its purported healing properties.

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Amber necklaces are a traditional European remedy for colic or teething pain with purported analgesic properties of succinic acid, although there is no evidence that this is an effective remedy or delivery method.

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