"The State of The World" Number 45
Complete Index Of All Issues
The Colors Of Amber
Ancient amber formed from sticky tree resin that became fossilized (preserved). It sometimes contains insects that became trapped in it. Those seeming impurities however often make it very valuable - apart from its commercial value because of its beauty, the insects in the amber provide a perfectly-preserved specimen of a creature that may have been extinct for millions of years..
The English-language word "amber" originated from the Arabic word, pronounced anbar, that actually referred to the many varieties, and colors, of "amber." The Europeans however had a preference for the yellow-orange variety, so "amber" became synonymous, to them, with just those two colors.
Ironically, while modern-day traffic lights include a "yellow" or "amber" one, as we shall see below, actual "amber" can also be red or green.
The color of "amber" is determined by its chemical composition, as well as the conditions under which it was formed. All of the examples shown below are "amber." Their colors range from white, to yellow-orange, to red, to black.
Red amber, sometimes known as "cherry amber," can be one of the most beautiful.