When you think of Amber, do you think of a gemstone, or a fossil? Some say a gemstone because of the gem-like look they give – especially in jewelry, but you may be surprised to hear that it is in fact a fossil. This is one of the reasons Amber is so fascinating!
Some think Amber is tree sap, but this is not true. Amber is tree resin, which may seem like the same thing as sap, but they are completely different. Sap contains nutrients and disperses it around the tree. Resin, on the other hand, has antiseptic properties that protect the tree from many diseases and heal spots that limbs were rotting or broken off. Some trees produce more resin than others, and not all resin will turn into amber, most resin will break down and decay before the Amberization process starts.
Another fascinating thing about Amber that I love so much, is the bugs! How cool is it to think that little insect inside the fossilized resin is millions of years old! To think of the amount of life that lives in this fossil is exceptional; imagine the stories they could tell. Amber consists of 79% carbon, 10.5% hydrogen, & 10.5% oxygen, and contains about 40 compounds – and no, that’s not including the insects.
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Learn more about minerals & fossils.