The fossilized resin of extinct trees of the Eocene period is called amber. The resin formed some 60 million years ago hardens in the course of time and undergoes various changes during erosion and sedimentation. In the process, the resin engulfs insects, plants and other species. These plants and other organic matter that are engulfed are called inclusions and these inclusions remain as fresh as they were while being engulfed. Amber gains importance owing to these factors and it is said that amber has medicinal properties to address certain physical and psychic conditions. There are different types of amber available and let us have a brief study on some of the types and the best amber gemstone in the world.
Various factors are taken into account while classifying amber such as age, color, formation, chemical composition, transparency and so on. Deposits of amber are found on the coasts of Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Sicily, Burma, Northern Germany and Romania. Baltic Sea coast has the largest number of amber and hence it is the most common amber available.
1) Baltic Amber
Baltic amber also referred to as succinite was considered the only genuine amber and best suited for making jewels. Baltic amber is the produce of pine trees of Northern Europe and other nearby regions along Baltic Sea. Baltic amber has various medicinal properties and it has been used as a traditional medicine since long. It is used as an antibiotic to enhance immunity. Baltic amber is considered the best amber stone in the world.
2) Retinite Amber
Retinite amber and succinite amber are the two types of amber when the classification of amber is done based on chemical composition. Retinite amber is softer than Baltic amber and it has no succinic acid. It mostly belongs to Tertiary age. It is found in great numbers in Dominical Republic as well as Mexico.
3) Gedanite Amber
Gedanite amber resembles succinite but it is softer than Baltic amber. This type of amber was found near Gdansk in Poland, which was earlier called Gedania. It is considered the resin of extinct white pine trees. It contains succinic acid to some extent but differs on other qualities from Baltic amber.
4) Simetite Amber
Simetite amber derives its name from Simeto. It is also called as Sicilian amber. It is commonly found near Cesena. It is believed that this amber came from Sicily to Northern Europe. It is famous for its colors and looks very attractive. It is found in hyacinth red, fluorescent color, yellow, brown and blue colors.
5) Burmite Amber
Burmite amber is otherwise called Chinese amber. This type of amber is from Burma. It is considered to be of Miocene age. It is usually found in yellow and brown colors. It is also found in near colorless state, orange and red colors. Found in Burma, Burmite amber is valued in Burma and China. As it was marketed through China earlier, it derived the name Chinese amber.
The list of the types of amber is long and exhaustive. Classifications are many and every amber is unique in its own way. Baltic amber is considered the best of all. If you are looking to buy amber, it would do well to have an idea about the principal types of amber and their qualities to make the best choice