There is no doubt about the beauty of amber being timeless. This fossilised tree resin comes in different types of colours. This variation of colours depends upon the environment, water, soil and resin conditions. Inclusions and climatic changes also have a major effect on the amber colour. Apart from the healing properties of this majestic resin, you can turn it into a fashion statement with fascinating colours and densities.
What gives amber its colour?
There are two major factors in developing genuine amber colours. The first one is the presence of bubbles within the resin that block the light from entering. The more the ratio of the bubbles in the resin, the lighter will be its colour. The second major factor is the tree that the resin is originating from. Some rare colours can only be produced by specific trees. For instance, in the Baltic region you can find ambers from pastel yellow to blue. Baltic amber can be found in 7 primary colours and numerous variations of those colours. These colours can easily be modified by processing the Baltic amber through heat (http://ambre.jaune.free.fr/CHARACTERIZATION_OF_GREEN_AMBER.pdf ).
Baltic amber colours
100% natural amber from the Baltic region can have various colours and at times it can be completely translucent as well. It is because across the years the volatile components of resin evaporate and don’t embed the gas bubbles within, which is why it remains colourless. This kind of Baltic amber allows you see inclusions without an effort.
The yellow-honey colour is the most associated colour with amber. Almost 70% of the amber is found in this colour. Cognac, golden and glittery light brown colours are also the variations of yellow Baltic amber. These shades depend upon the compositions, conditions and the transformation of amber over the years.
A very rare and highly demanded colour in Baltic amber is green. Approximately 2% of the amber is naturally green. Because of its scarce nature, green amber is extremely expensive in the market. What’s fascinating is that the darker hues of green are much more expensive than the lighter hues. The process of amber gaining the colour green is rather interesting. It happens when the resin falls among plants and reacts with the chlorophyll pigmentation that is present in the plants.
Approximately 15% of the Baltic amber found is naturally black in colour. Amber takes this colour when the resin is mixed with the bark and leaf litter. Even though black amber is genuine amber, it might only contain 15-20% amber and the rest being impurities. It is also softer than the other coloured ambers which makes it quite fragile to work with.
Blue amber takes up only 0.2% of the amber found worldwide. It is extremely rare and features a fascinating and gorgeous hue of blue. The formation process consists of the resin floating in water before setting itself in the soil that contains pyrites. These pyrites enter the resin through tiny cracks and give it the blue hue. You need to hold this kind of amber in the right lighting conditions to see its true blue colour.
Amber colours from around the world