|Natural Red amber. Photo: PrimeStoneIndonesia|
Amber is fossilized tree resin used for jewelry, decoration, medicine, and perfume. Specimens with inclusions of insects and plants are of great scientific significance and highly esteemed by collectors.
The oldest amber recovered dates to the Upper Carboniferous period (320 million years ago).
Red amber. Natural red shade is especially rare. Red shades can vary from orange to dark red. Red amber was formed when the amber stayed in the air for a long time: oxidation process, heat of the sun, fire in the forest.
Natural oxidation takes place in the air and the amber interacts with oxygen and changes its colour step by step. Transparent amber becomes more red; yellow and other colours become more concentrated. This is very long process: change in the shades of colour could be noticed only after 50-70 years. “Old” amber is highly valued because of its “maturity“ and has its time patina.
Red colour of amber is mostly obtained artificially by heating transparent amber (oxidizing it), but heated amber loses its natural properties.
Red amber named “dragon’s blood” was widely featured in Shosoin treasures found in Japan. It was highly valuable for both its rarity and mystical, divine powers.