Amber is a prized gemstone, but it is unique as a gemstone since it is not actually a rock or mineral in the traditional sense; it is fossilized tree resin, so it is an organic gemstone.
Over millions of years, tree resin hardens and solidifies until it becomes hard enough to be used as a gemstone in decorative objects, jewelry, construction, and more.
Since amber has such unique physical properties and takes millions of years to develop, it is particularly precious. Sometimes insects become trapped in the tree resin before it hardens, and they are preserved inside.
This makes amber such a fascinating gemstone to anyone who is interested in prehistory.
List of Gemstone Meanings: For our full list of gemstone meanings.
History of Amber
The word amber comes from the Middle Persian word ‘ambar’ which referred to a substance that comes from sperm whales, which is currently called ambergris. Ambergris is easy to confuse with amber when it washes up on a beach.
The Greeks referred to amber as ‘elektron’ which meant ‘formed by the sun’ a reference to the bright orange or gold color of amber gemstones.
In Greek mythology, when the sun god Helios son Phaeton was killed, the tears of his morning sisters became amber.
If you rub amber with cloth, you can actually build up a static charge. The charge is weak, but it will attract small, lightweight objects like paper.
This is how we got the word ‘electron’. It came from the Greek word for amber.
Amber Meaning: Metaphysical Properties of Amber
Since amber takes millions of years to form and has a strong connection to the past and to prehistory, the meanings associated with amber are grounding and past lives.
Amber is believed to have a strong connection to the earth and its evolution, which is why wearing amber is said to ground the user and to calm emotions and create a positive attitude. Since amber ‘remembers’ the earth’s past, it is sometimes used to aid in memory recall.
This is why amber is connected to past life recall as well; past lives are a kind of memory which lives outside the body, so metaphysical practitioners will often use amber to enhance their recollection of other lifetimes.
Amber is a great stone for someone who is scientifically minded as well. Many people are fascinated by the process which forms amber, and also by the prehistoric insects which can be trapped inside.
For the prehistory or biology enthusiast in your life, amber can make an excellent and treasured gift.
Disclaimer: Amber should not be used instead of regular medical treatment, but in addition to treatments. Always seek professional help when dealing with health related problems.