What do dinosaurs and amber have in common?
How about 99 million years of history?
The tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur has been found entombed in amber, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists.
Xing Lida, a Chinese paleontologist found the specimen, the size of a dried apricot, at an amber market in northern Myanmar near the Chinese border.
The remarkable piece was destined to end up as a curiosity or piece of jewelry, with Burmese traders believing a plant fragment was trapped inside.
"I realized that the content was a vertebrate, probably theropod, rather than any plant," said Xing.
"I was not sure that (the trader) really understood how important this specimen was, but he did not raise the price."
In this new installment of Gemstones 108, we look at the amazing amber gemstone and its stunning properties. Amber has been used in jewelry since the stone age, from 13,000 years ago. Amber ornaments have been found in Mycenaean tombs and elsewhere across Europe.
Is amber really a stone?
While often considered a gemstone, the glowing, warm amber is not actually a stone, but a fossilized resin from ancient evergreen trees. The oldest amber discovered on Earth is about 320 million years old.
Amber is fossilized tree resin, which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times.
The young amber stones are less than 100,000 years old; the most valued pieces of amber are much older than that. (It takes a long time for the tree resin to become true amber.
But why is it called a gemstone?
Beautiful jewelry made from amber resembles gemstones, so it is sold as a gemstone.
Isn't it mind boggling to know that amber jewelry contains such old, powerful energy?
What is so attractive about amber?
Amber was one of the first substances used by man for decoration, utilized as far back as the Stone Age for jewelry, amulets and funerary offerings.
Gold of the Sea:
Amber is one of the world’s oldest and most coveted treasures, a “Gold of the Sea” intrinsically formed by light and life, preserved by time and washed upon the shores for humanity, a talisman of beauty, protection and renewal.
Besides citing the legendary tales of how Amber came to be, Aristotle, and later Pliny and Tacitus, attested to Amber’s true origin as earth-born, a resin formed from the tree of an ancient pine genus.
Because insects and plant matter were suspended, timeless within its form, they deemed Amber to be an apt metaphor for entombment and to represent the ultimate function of the funeral rite: to honor the deceased with precious gifts and make permanent the memory of their lives.
Large amounts of Amber were found in graves across the ancient world; some discovered in Mycenaean graves date back to 8000 BCE.
The Queen of the Sea legend:
The origins of Baltic Amber are associated with an ancient Lithuanian legend of Jūratė, Queen of the Sea, who lived in a palace constructed of Amber at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. She fell madly in love with a fisherman named Kastytis and brought him back to live with her in her Amber palace.
When her father, thunder god Perkūnas, the most powerful of the Lithuanian gods, found she had pledged her love to a mere mortal, he flew into a rage and sent lightning bolts to kill Kastytis and destroy the Amber palace. He then chained Jūratė within the ruins for all eternity.
The legend claims that even today, when storms rage in the Baltic Sea, small fragments of the underwater palace can be found washed up on shore, and one can still hear the grieving goddess cry for her lost love.
Amber healing properties
Because amber has been used since ancient times in a variety of cultures - from Greece to China to Northern Europe - there are many properties attributed to this warm and powerful stone.
The love crystal:
As a love crystal, golden-orange Amber is a symbol of beauty and tenderness, a good-luck talisman for increasing natural radiance and attracting lasting love. It may be used to call in a twin soul, or for protection against negative outside influences and interference.
What about prayer beads?
Amber is an exceptional rubbing stone for discharging negative moods, relieving anxiety, or deflecting energy from others. It warms the more it is touched and generates a positive, uplifting current of energy.
Wear it as jewelry, or use in rosary or mala prayer beads.
Amber emotional healing
Bringing balance and stability to one’s life, Amber encourages patience and flexibility.
And the best part?
It’s warm, bright energy promotes cheerfulness and trust, and strengthens the belief in oneself. Amber stimulates the intellect, improves short-term memory, and enhances the understanding of messages from one’s past to assist in decision-making and moving forward in life.
Meditation with amber
Amber is used in meditation when the desire is to connect to the earth wisdom of an earlier age.
Here’s the thing...
Its ancient energy is released as it is touched or held in the hand during a session.
It can be used to purify an area for meditation, or to clear the mind, body and spirit in readiness for expanding the consciousness. Amber is a powerful protector in shamanic journeys.
Amber Chakra Balancing
The role of amber within the sacral chakra means that it this a strong stone to help you to enhance your creativity.
Orange = Sacral
The gold and orange shades of Amber stimulate the Navel or Sacral Chakra. This controls the flow of energy and is the center of gravity of the body. Gold or orange crystals are used to unblock the energy flow and restore one’s sense of balance, understanding and appreciation of life. When the Sacral Chakra is in balance one has grace, feels pleasure in life.
Yellow = Solar Plexus
The yellow hues within Amber activate the Solar Plexus Chakra, the energy distribution center and the chakra of relationships. Yellow crystals spiritually balance the Solar Plexus, freeing one to interpret the world through one’s own thoughts and emotions and not live in fear of violating the dictums of others.
Amber Spiritual Energy
Amber is a powerful protector, aligning one’s everyday self to higher spiritual realms. It is a valuable tool for tapping into ancient wisdom, and for recalling past lives to gain a better understanding of how past experiences can better assist one now.
And Life Force...
Amber is fossilized with its Life Force energies intact, and is an excellent source of Light energy for the physical body and a tangible support for energetic healing. Purity and holiness were thought to be evoked by Amber.
Amber Talismans and Amulets
Amber is a good-luck talisman, believed to be pieces of the Sun that fell off into the sea. It has long been used to bring luck to warriors, protect infants and children, and to increase radiance and attract lasting love.
Now, why is that?
it is the organic essence of life and the energy of light within its structure that has resonated with the human spirit since the earliest man.
Amber is a talisman of the lonely and nostalgic, often referenced in myths and legends of the sea as tears of gods or goddesses who mourned the death of a loved one, especially one of a young life. It is considered to provide great strength to widows or those who await a loved one, and to sustain one through the grieving process.
And the afterlife?
Because of its preservation of life, Amber was revered as a repository of souls, and amulets of Amber were used in funeral rites for mourning the dead and placed in burial tombs with other treasures to protect the soul during its journey to the afterlife.