Amber wire wrap pendant wrapped in 14kt rolled gold aka Earth Stone, German Gold Amber is a fossilized tree resin of now-extinct conifer trees and ancient pines. Trees exuded the resin as a protective mechanism against disease and insect infestation, and then it hardened and became preserved in the earth's crust for millions of years. Amber is an amorphous stone, meaning that like glass, it does not have an ordered structure. It is often imitated by plastics, colored glasses and some modern tree resins, but real amber is much harder than other resins (it won't crumble as easily). It usually can be distinguished from plastics and glasses by its inclusions and its ability to float in salt water. Because it is so soft, amber is easily scratched, so store carefully. Also, it loses its luster when exposed to alcohol or ether (remember that perfume and hair spray contain alcohol). Amber beads should be cleaned in lukewarm (not hot) water with a little dishwashing liquid. Afterward, it's helpful to rub on a little vegetable oil. Broken pieces of amber often can be fixed with epoxy glue, but to help prevent damage, put a knot between beads so they won't rub together.
Though the use of amber in human adornment is nearly as old as mankind, it has experienced a limited market in recent history. Of course, that was before millions of people saw the movie "Jurassic Park," in which dinosaur DNA was extracted from a mosquito trapped in amber. A worldwide surge in demand for amber jewelry followed the film's release. Could a mosquito trapped in amber really hold dinosaur DNA? No. Most amber is 25 to 50 million years old at most — the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. Another lesson in history: The Greeks called amber elektron, or "sunmade," perhaps because it becomes electrically charged when rubbed with a cloth and can attract small particles. And in "The Odyssey," Homer mentions amber jewelry as a princely gift.
Mystically speaking, amber is said to bring luck, as well as improving eyesight and easing glandular swellings of the throat and lungs. It also is supposed to balance endocrine and digestive networks. Major sources of this stone include the Baltic coast, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Russia and the U.S.A. (New Jersey).