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Natural Amber

Natural Amber Varieties  (Succinite)


Depending on the age, amber-yielding pine and the place of origin there are several types of amber. Natural amber colors vary
from wax white, light yellow to dark yellow, orange, red to brown, opaque and translucent. Amber stones with some microscopic
air bubbles let it appear in a milky yellow.

There are more than 80 types of amber known worldwide, the most common is the baltic succinite amber. The varieties of the
succinit amber can be distuished particuallary by the degree of their turbidity. Most characteristic are smooth transitions and
the mixing in the individual pieces.

Clear or Almost Clear – completely transparent as glass, very weak staining yellow (ice clear) to brownish yellow (Brunswick clear).

Baltic amber. Variety "Clear"  Clear stones with inclusions are rare and frequent targets of counterfeiting. Photo 1      Baltic amber. Variety "Clear"  Photo 2      Baltic amber. Variety "Clear"  Photo 3      Baltic amber. Variety "Clear"  Photo 4


Flom or Opaquesemitransparent and cloudy, because of many microscopic air bubbles.

Baltic amber. Variety "Flom"  Photo 1      Natural amber. Variety "Flom"  Photo 2      Natural amber. Variety "Flom"  Photo 3      Ukrainian amber. Variety "Flom"  Photo 4


Bastard – opaque cloudy with transparent spots to cloudy homogeneous or mottled (German called Kumst) with varying degrees of color.

Ukrainian amber. Variety "Bastard"  Photo 1      Natural amber. Variety "Bastard"   Very suitable for amber jewelry production or amber beads. Photo 2      Baltic amber. Variety "Bastard"  Is very common. Photo 3      Raw amber. Variety "Bastard"  Photo 4


Bonetotally opaque, ivory to pure white (white resin)

Baltic raw amber. Variety "Bone" Very rare and expensive.   Photo 1      Baltic raw amber. Variety "Bone" For very exclusive jewelry. Photo 2      Baltic raw amber. Variety "Bone"  Photo 3      Baltic raw amber. Variety "Bone"  Photo 4      White amber. Variety "Bone" White stones are extremely rare. Photo 5      Baltic raw amber. Variety "Bone" Photo 6


Black Varnish or Glaze – gray to mottled, decayed wood and soil with resin as a binder.

Natural amber. Variety "Black Varnish" For jewelry making absolutely useless. Photo 1      Natural amber. Variety "Black Varnish"  Photo 2      Natural amber. Variety "Black Varnish"  Photo 3      Natural amber. Variety "Black Varnish"  Photo 4


Multicolored – mix the plain varieties to bone, often with well-defined and columns.

Natural amber. Variety "Multicolored"  Very interesting for collectors. Photo 1         Natural amber. Variety "Multicolored"   Photo 2      Natural amber. Variety "Multicolored"  Very interesting for collectors. Photo 3      Natural amber. Variety "Multicolored"   Photo 4      Natural amber. Variety "Multicolored"   Photo 5      Natural amber. Variety "Multicolored"  Very interesting for collectors. Photo 6


Antique – plain varieties to different degrees of weathering bastard colored red to reddish brown.

Natural amber. Variety "Antique" Has a very special color with patina. Photo 1      Natural amber. Variety "Antique" Photo 2



Natural Amber Lexicon

Raw Amber – amber still wears his weathering crust and was not sanded, polished or changed in any other way.

Natural Amber – is a cut and polished amber, its structure and color have not been artificially modified. It is thus a natural product unchanged.

Amber Inclusions – natural amber with inclusions, such as parts of plants and small animals.

Pressed amber (ambroid) – is offered for sale as “Real amber”. This is not naturally formed amber, but a product that was obtained from
grinding residues and small pieces pressed in an autoclave together.

Copal – is a resin that is not completely fossilized into amber.



Classification of Baltic Amber Gemstones

The Terminology and Definitions of Baltic Amber (Succinite) Gemstones by International Amber Association


Natural Baltic amber (Succinite) – gemstone which has undergone mechanical treatment only (for instance: grinding, cutting, turning or polishing)
without any change to its natural properties

Modified Baltic amber (Succinite) – gemstone subjected only to thermal or high-pressure treatment, which changed its physical properties, including
the degree of transparency and colour, or shaped under similar conditions out of one nugget, previously cut to the required size.

Reconstructed (pressed) Baltic amber (Succinite) – gemstone made of Baltic amber pieces pressed in high temperature and under high pressure
without additional components.

Bonded Baltic amber (Succinite) (doublet, triplet) – gemstone consisting of two or more parts of natural, modified or reconstructed Baltic amber
bonded together with the use of the smallest possible amount of a binding agent necessary to join the pieces.

The following abbreviations can be used to describe gemstone modification degrees:
N – no modification
H – heating
HPHT – High pressure high temperature

International jewellery and gemmology organisations recommend providing customers with exhaustive information on the gemstone
modifications applied.

The classification of Baltic amber gemstones was adopted by the Board of the International Amber Association on November 20, 1999, as amended.
Last amended on September 05, 2014, unified text.

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