Amber is tree resin that has fossilized. The oldest amber found to date is 320 million years old. It has always been prized as both decorative peaces as well as for as for healling and also in the past as a for of oil as heating will soften it and then eventually it will burn. If melted and added to turpentine or linseed oil it can become an amber varnish.
Amber is better know today for it beauty as a form of gem when polished it is a cheap but sought after stone. Found in different depsoits world wide the European depsoits found along the Baltic coast line this has been traded for over 2000 years and is still today. There are large depsoits in China as well as a blue variety found in the Dominican Republic.
It is also found in New Zealand specifically in coal seams there this is called Ambrite. Amber has in recent years caused great stirs in sceince as many bugs and insects found trapped in Amber have been found to still contain DNA. This Amber is highly prized by collectors and fetchs a high price on the market.
Amber now has many synthetic and many are made containing all manner of bugs creatures which would never have been able to become trapped in the resin. One of the most famous things made from amber was the Amber Room in the Catherine Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia. An intire chamber decorated and made of amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors. This room and what happened to it are one of the biggest mysterys of world war two the room was stolen by the germans and shipped away and then in the chaoes of the end of the war it was hidden some say destroyed but nobody knows for sure. A copy of this room has now been made and is back in the palace. The original covered more than 55 square meters and contained over six tons of amber . Many small musems have large collections of amber and some whole musems are dedicated to it completly in the former soviet block including Latvia And Estonia.