Free Shipping Over $100

Your cart

Your cart is empty

A guide to Amber: meanings, properties and everyday uses

Written by: Jessica Kramer

|

|

Time to read 8 min

Different finishes, colors and textures of amber stone

Introduction


Amber is a fossilized tree resin that has been appreciated for its golden beauty and metaphysical properties since ancient times. Unlike other precious stones, amber is organic in origin, formed from the hardened sap of now-extinct coniferous trees. Amber ranges in color from pale lemon yellow to orange-reddish brown. The oldest amber dates back over 300 million years to the Carboniferous period.

 

The name amber comes from the Arabic 'anbar', and was originally used to describe ambergris, a waxy substance from sperm whales used in perfumes. True amber was referred to as karabe, karabet, or kahraba in Arabic. Ambergris and amber were both highly prized trading commodities in the ancient world.

 

Most of the hardened resin comes from the Baltic region, where it washes up on beaches and is mined from deposits under the sea floor. Other sources include the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Myanmar. Baltic amber has the longest history of use in jewelry and ornamentation. Its warm glow, smooth texture, and prehistoric botanical inclusions make each piece unique.

 

A remarkable natural substance, it has accumulated rich mythological significance and powerful healing associations through the centuries. Its alluring beauty and metaphysical resonance make it a cherished gemstone around the world.

Physical Properties

 

Amber is a fossilized resin that typically has a golden or brownish-yellow color. It can range from translucent to opaque and often contains insect inclusions and plant materials.

 

The stone has a smooth, glossy surface when polished but can feel coarse or rough in raw, unpolished form. It is warm to the touch and lighter than ordinary stones.

 

Amber exhibits different color varieties based on its mineral composition. Variations can include golden, yellow, orange, red, green, brown, white, and blue. The rarest and most valued type is blue amber.

 

Some key identifying traits of this stone are its relative softness, lightweight nature, and distinctive pine tree resin scent when burned or heated. These properties differentiate it from common look-alike stones.

Historical Significance


Amber has been prized since antiquity for its warm glow and mystical properties. The fossilized tree resin was used extensively by various ancient cultures and civilizations across the globe.

The ancient Greeks called the stone "electrum," believing it was created when sunlight mingled with the tears of mourning sisters Phaethon and Heliades. Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus made the first scientific study of amber's electrostatic properties around 600 BC. Amber beads were traded by the ancient Phoenicians and were found amongst the grave goods of Mycenaean tombs dating back to 1600-1100 BC.

 

Across Northern Europe, it was associated with fertility, rebirth and eternal life. It was crafted into jewelry and amulets by Nordic tribes who believed it had magical healing powers. Mysterious amber artifacts like the Sun Stone and Nebra skydisk were created during the Nordic Bronze Age. The ancient Romans sent expeditions to gather it along the shores of the Baltic Sea, using it for jewelry and decorative objects.

 

In China, it was considered the "soul of the tiger" and used in traditional medicine. It was believed to contain the perfect balance of yin and yang energies. Dating back to 2000 BC, amber was imported by the ancient Chinese via the early Silk Road. Prized amber ornaments have been unearthed from Shang Dynasty tombs. During the Han Dynasty, amber was pulverized and used as an ingredient in elixirs of immortality by Daoist alchemists.

 

The diverse civilizations of antiquity all recognized amber as a mystical substance and coveted it for amulets, jewelry and trade. Its natural, translucent beauty and supposed magical properties made amber one of the world's earliest precious materials.

Amber is a fossilized resin

Symbolic Meaning


Amber is rich in mythological symbolism and cultural lore across civilizations. Known as the 'Gold of the North', it was highly prized by many ancient cultures for its luminous beauty.

  • In Nordic legend, it was believed to be the tears of the daughters of the sun god mourning the death of their brother. It was considered lucky to find amber washed up on shore.
  • To the ancient Greeks, this crystal was the ossified essence of sunlight and believed to originate from the rays of Apollo, the sun god. It represented purity and sanctity.
  • Chinese traditions link amber to the life force and energy of the tiger. The stone was believed to contain the soul of a tiger, imbuing one with strength, courage and protection.
  • Baltic mythology describes it as the petrified sap from the Tree of Life. It signifies wisdom, healing, vitality and positive transformation.
  • In the Middle Ages, Christians associated the stone with sanctity and purity as it was created from sacred trees. Rosary beads were commonly crafted from Baltic amber.

Across cultures, this crystal stands as a symbol of light, warmth, courage, wisdom, healing and tenacity - persisting over millions of years as a protective, life-giving stone.

 

Healing Properties


Amber is renowned for its potent healing and restorative properties for both the physical body and emotions.

 

Physical Healing Benefits

  • Eases inflammation and joint pain
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Alleviates headaches and migraines
  • Soothes colic, stomach, and throat ailments
  • Relieves pain and supports tissue regeneration

Emotional and Spiritual Healing

  • Calms the nervous system and anxiety
  • Lifts depression and stabilizes mood
  • Promotes positive thinking and motivation
  • Encourages emotional healing and release
  • Deepens meditation and heightens intuition
  • Enhances creativity and boosts vitality
  • Protects against negative energy and thoughts

The succinic acid naturally present in the stone is believed to stimulate healing responses in the body and mind. Wearing amber jewelry allows for continuous exposure to its therapeutic energies.

 

Everyday Uses


Amber is prized for its beauty and versatility, making it a popular choice for jewelry, home decor, aromatherapy, and meditation.

 

Jewelry

 

Amber jewelry allows you to keep the stone's healing energies close. Wear it as a necklace to benefit the throat, chest and heart chakras. Use amber rings, bracelets or anklets to relieve joint pain and arthritis. Choose amber earrings to boost mental clarity and memory.

 

Home Decor

 

Display gemstones or raw chunks around your home to promote positive energy flow. Place pieces by your bed, work desk or meditation space to enhance their corresponding benefits. Use amber candle holders or vases to infuse any room with calming, uplifting vibes.

 

Aromatherapy

 

Burn amber resin or essential oil during meditation to stimulate psychic awareness and spiritual connection. Diffuse it to ease stress, anxiety and depression. Enjoy its warm, woody aroma to create a relaxing ambience for yoga, reading or restful sleep.

 

Meditation

 

Hold a polished stone during meditation to promote mental focus and emotional balance. Lay pieces on your body at the solar plexus or sacral chakras to enhance inner wisdom. Use amber mala prayer beads to deepen your practice.

Protective Qualities


Amber is known for its ability to protect against negative energy and ward off the evil eye. When worn on the body, this gem can act as a shield, absorbing and transmuting dense vibrations into lighter frequencies.

The succinic acid present in the crystal is believed to carry a cleansing and purifying energy. Keeping the stone close creates a positive aura that repels lower energies. Yellow amber specifically has a bright solar energy that serves as a buffer against psychic attack or manipulation.

 

Ancient cultures recognized this crystal's protective nature. Roman soldiers wore amulets of amber into battle for courage and to deflect harm. In the Middle Ages, amber jewelry and talismans shielded people from sickness and black magic.

 

Today, many still rely on it as an amulet to repel the evil eye, ghosts, spells, and wicked intentions. Its vibrant glow is thought to confuse and divert jealous stares. Simply wearing or carrying the stone can guard against envy and bad luck in social situations.

Placing it around the home provides an invisible force field to prevent negative energies from entering. It's said to absorb dense vibrations and neutralize their influence on inhabitants. This natural purifier cleanses the environment and creates a sanctuary of positivity.

 

Cleansing and Charging


Like other healing crystals, amber requires occasional cleansing and recharging to restore its energetic vibrations and remove accumulated negative energy. Two simple and effective methods are solar charging and salt water cleansing.

 

Solar Charging

Place your crystal in direct sunlight for 4-6 hours. This allows the stone to naturally recharge its healing powers through photonic light energy from the sun. Be sure to position it so the sun's rays directly strike its surface. Many healers recommend solar charging amber at the full or new moon to amplify its energetic cleansing.

 

Salt Water Cleansing

Soak your crystal in a bowl of sea salt or kosher salt dissolved in water overnight or for at least 1-2 hours. Use about 1 cup of salt for every liter of lukewarm water. The salt's crystalline structure will help extract impurities from the stone. Afterwards, rinse the stone under fresh cool running water and allow to air dry. Avoid using table salt, which may contain additives.

For best results, cleanse your amber every 1-2 weeks or as needed. If worn daily, a monthly cleansing is recommended. This keeps its natural forces vibrant and restores a harmonious energy flow.

amber crystal

Getting Started with Amber


Here are some tips for selecting and working with amber:


Tips for Selecting Amber


  • Look for pieces with a rich, deep orange or yellow color. 

  • Check for inclusions like ancient insects or plant matter. 

  • Shop for amber jewelry so you can keep the stone’s energies close. Pendants, stretch bracelets, and rings are great options.


Tips for Using Amber


  • Carry a piece of amber in your pocket for ongoing emotional healing and balance.

  • Wear it as jewelry touching your skin to ease anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

  • Place pieces around your home or office to promote calm, soothing energy.

  • Hold a piece during meditation to amplify intuition and insight.

  • Use amber massage wands to stimulate energy flow. Glide over skin using light pressure.

  • Create an amber elixir by leaving a stone in water overnight and drinking the infusion.

The most important factor in gem shopping is to find a stone that you love! While the following factors are great indicators at what the masses seek; be sure to find a stone that resonates with you.

Conclusion


This remarkable natural substance has captivated humanity for millennia. With its warm glow and fossilized origins, it connects us to the mysteries of the ancient world. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, amber has a long history of therapeutic and spiritual applications across many cultures. Its electromagnetic properties and ability to hold a charge enables it to cleanse, energize and protect at a deep level.


Regularly working with amber can help boost mood, ease anxiety, alleviate pain and inflammation, and bring our energetic system back into harmony. Carrying or wearing it provides a personal shield against negative energy. It encourages a positive mindset, higher wisdom and confidence in trusting our inner guidance.


As we seek greater wellness and enlightenment, it reminds us of nature's perfection. It brings forward vitality, clarity and inner radiance. Let its energy ignite your creativity and passion. Use its power to create a life aligned with your purpose. Amber's magic, drawn from solar energy, can fuel your personal growth and help you shine.