The History Of Amber
Free Shipping On Orders Over $39

The History Of Amber

February 11, 2019

Amber has a long and storied history that goes way beyond the modern usage as popular jewelry and a natural teething solution. If you want to know about the history of amber, what it is, how people have used it for thousands of years, and how we use it today, read on to find out more about amber.

What is Amber?

Amber is not what most people initially think it is; despite popular belief, amber is not a precious gemstone like a ruby, sapphire or diamond. Amber is actually tree resin that has been fossilized over thousands or millions of years, depending on the age of the amber and the location of the amber. Most people are familiar with amber’s status as fossilized tree resin through the existence of amber fossils which contain the remains of insects trapped in the tree resin millions of years ago.

Amber Jewelry

Historical Uses for Amber:

Although it is only in recent years that amber’s popularity has skyrocketed again, particularly as a teething remedy for infants, in addition to other naturalistic uses this is not the first time in human history that amber has been utilized.
The English name for "amber" actually derives from the mistaken belief in the 14th century that amber and ambergris, derived from sperm whales were the same substance, as both were harvested when they washed up on beaches. Over time, the two substances were distinguished as being separate, and amber was referred to simply as "amber" from then on. The amber historically was usually heated up so that it could be molded into various shapes, in similar methods as amber today is molded into beads.

The use of amber extends as far back as 13,000 years ago otherwise known as the Stone Age. Amber was historically used for three primary purposes: fuel, decoration, and for healing/medicinal purposes (amber teething necklaces). There are many existing examples of amber being used in sculptures, jewelry, ceremonial pieces, and even instruments and decorative tools throughout the world. Amber was considered valuable and was a popular trading item, especially in cultures where amber jewelry was highly prized.

Raw amber teething necklace

Amber was also used for medicinal purposes in the past, especially in ancient Greece and through the Middle Ages in Europe. Amber continued to be a widespread method for reducing inflammation until about the 20th century, when its use declined due to an increase in other types of treatments.

Amber Today:

Although amber use declined in the 20th century, its popularity is once again on the rise. Over the last decade or so, the benefits of amber for all sorts of health problems ranging from teething pain to inflammation and more have once again entered into the public consciousness.

Today, amber has once again become a popular jewelry choice but not merely for fashion. The benefits of wearing amber jewelry for adults and children are becoming more well known as more people take advantage of the natural pain reduction properties of this remarkable and ancient substance that humans have been admiring and using since the dawn of human history.

About Powell's Owls:

Powell's Owls is recognized as a premium seller of amber jewelry. Established in 2014, we import our amber directly from the Baltic Region. Our amber is lab-tested and verified authentic by the Gemological Institute Of America (GIA). Check out our wide range of baby amber necklaces and adult amber necklaces