Among gemstones, amber can take one of the first places in the beauty and variety of colors. The color palette and types of amber amaze the imagination of even the most sophisticated jewelry lovers, where especially prevail mainly yellow, golden yellow colors, therefore the term “amber color”.
Since ancient times, white amber was mostly valued. Experts was confident that it contains less impurities and therefore has the best healing effects. In China and Japan cherry amber – “dragon blood” was honored, it was worn by members of the ruling dynasty. Roman Emperor Nero liked black amber. Rare and especially revered is opal amber with a bluish tint. Attractive orange and cream amber colors. The Curonian Spit is rich in greenish amber. In Sicily you can find amber of bright fiery color.
Monochrome amber is rare. Each piece has many shades of color, which gradually turning one into another. It seems like amber has absorbed all the colors of mother nature which created him. It is either transparent with subtle yellowness, or greenish like a sea wave throwing it ashore, red like sunset or bluish like the sky in a light haze of clouds. In amber piece you can find all the colors of fragrant flowers. Scientist indicate that amber has 200 and even 350 shades, but the exact digit is difficult to calculate, perhaps there are a lot more.
So where does this variety of amber colors come from?
There are many factors that affect the color of amber in the process of its formation, it’s a structural factor, the density of amber which affects the scattering of white light, various inclusions, weathering.
Color variations and combination of different shades of yellow in one piece depends on the initial composition of the resin and the subsequent conditions for its burial and transformation. This, as well as the mechanical admixture of pyrite, explains the green shades in amber. The blue color (from pale and sky blue to cornflower blue) is caused by the scattering of white light in a medium with small particles. The appearance of a pink color can be associated with a different oxygen regime during the conversion of the resin into amber.
The color of amber affects its value. At various times, amber was evaluated differently. In ancient Rome, white and waxy amber was used only for smoking, but reddish transparent amber had a great monetary value. At the beginning of our era, were valued two varieties of amber – boiled in honey and golden transparent. In the East countries, along with yellow transparent pieces, milky-white cloudy amber was valued it contained an increased amount of succinic acid which have most significant healing properties. Translucent amber with a greenish tint was considered expensive. Nowadays, the highest quality amber should be lemon yellow and evenly shine through the entire mass of the piece.