Blue amber


For a long long time the only kind of fossilized resin that was allowed to be called amber was Baltic amber.
Then along came the second world war and Germans lost their access to the Baltic amber mines. Enterprising companies started looking for amber elswhere and found it, lots of it in fact in Dominican Republic. The original company became so successful that it soon got kicked out of Dominica and forbidden to export raw amber.

Blue/green amber (Wikimedia commons)
This fossilized resin was accepted into amber family around 1960.
Dominican amber comes from the resin of Hymenea protera trees as opposed to Pinus succinifera of Baltic amber. It is guessed that a lot of the resin was produced during forest fires caused by lightnings.

Dominican amber is found in many colors - the traditional yellow, orange and brown, but also transparent, without color.
Pink variety is rear, but the reason for this blog post is the rarest blue or sometimes green amber. Only some 100 - 150 kg of blue amber are mined in a year. Miners tell that blue amber is most commonly found in the amber mines in the mountain ranges around Santiago, Dominican Republic, Palo Quemado mine.

This variety of amber does not contain fossils.
The blue amber is not truly blue - when looking through it towards the light, amber has the common orange - yellow color. It becomes blue, when light shines ON it.
Blue amber (Wikimedia commons)
 When natural light strikes blue amber on a white surface, the light particles pass right through, and then are refracted off the white surface. The result is the slight blue hue of blue amber. When the same natural light particles strike the amber on a black surface, the light particles don't refract off the black surface, thus refracting off the actual amber. Hydrocarbons in the blue amber turn the sun's ultraviolet light into blue light particles, resulting in the glow of blue amber.

One of the main differences of Dominican amber from Baltic amber is transparency -- Dominican amber is nearly always always transparent, and it also has a higher number of fossil inclusions. This has enabled the detailed reconstruction of the ecosystem of a long-vanished tropical forest.

All the pictures are taken by me unless mentioned otherwise. If you fancy a piece of soutache jewellery with any of the stones on my website or a piece of soutache jewellery in general -- send me a message or convo me on etsy.

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