Natural Amber Colors
This is natural Dominican amber. It is the REAL thing, natural amber just the way it comes from the mines. Some confound Dominican amber (20 to 40 million years old) with Dominican Copal, (5 million to 18 million years old) which also is found on that Island. Some do this on purpose to make Dominican Amber appear of less importance, others do it out of sheer ignorance. (see: Study by Dr. George O. Poinar Jr., an entomologist at the University of California at Berkeley, with Dr. Raul J. Cano, a molecular biologist at the California Polytechnic Institute at San Luis Obispo, Dr. David W. Roubik of the Smithsonian Institution, and Hendrik N. Poinar, New York Times, October 29, 2006.)
Dominican amber is not heat treated to reproduce the green, cherry and blood red color, or make it transparent by boiling it in rapeseed oil or in the fat of a suckling pig. (Don’t laugh.)
This was and is a method used in famous amber countries to produce rare colors and effects. Some do it even by applying a certain paint to the backs of the amber stones, to cause the beholder’s perception to see green amber or other colors, which naturally are not or not often found in those places. It also is heated up and cooled down to produce the “sun spangles” (flints) and melted and cleared in vacuum chambers (autoclaved) and what have you.
Most Baltic amber flooding the market is made only of amber rejects and amber sawdust or meal, colored, melted up and pressed. Often misleading expressions are being used like: “real amber”, “Genuine amber” etc. and even certificates are being offered.
But Dominican amber uses none of these methods. They just find it that way and cut and polish it. Yes, they are very fortunate to have naturally what others dream of and try to copy artificially.
Of course, Dominican Amber also comes in “Amber Colors”. There are the honey, yellow, brown and all shades in between. Most of them are transparent or translucent.
Dominican Amber – It is not “succinite” but “retinite”. It is fossilized tree resin from an ancient relative of a tropical species called “algarroba”. It is real amber. See Chemistry of Amber
Dominican amber mines are only a major source of amber during the last 50 years, although its existence has been known about since the times of the descovery of the island by Christopher Colombus. But since there is not much publicity, the uninformed majority knows little about it. Although the book and film “Jurassic Park” gave it quite a boost and told the world about its existence.
The outcrop is much, much less than Baltic amber, therefore it is rare in the true meaning of the word and not found all over the globe. It is the amber that still carries the tradition of being something special, accessible only for a few. Hence, it is not the amber you will see in the Supermarket jewelry store next door.
Industrialized? No way. Here we are much too “primitive” (…is that good or bad?).
Dominican ‘amberos‘ are much to “primitive” to improve (”viagarize”) their amber. They probably don’t need to do it either.
Also check out our new documentation on Dominican amber mines at
* Dominican amber is found in a wide range of natural colors, some exclusively Dominican, which also places it as a class apart. See:Natrual Colors of Dominican Amber
* Dominican amber is not “enhanced” by heat, oil treatment or autoclaved. These technics are not even known here.
* It is cut and polished fossil resin, just the way it comes from the mines.
* No pressed amber or “ambroid” is being used. Amber pieces too small to be used, or amber meal are disposed of.
* It is not industrialized. Whatever is made from Dominican Amber, beads, cabochons, carvings etc. is “hand made” and original.
True, all this makes it more expensive. But also more exclusive.
The occurrence of fossil insects in Dominican Amber is
about 10 times higher than in Baltic amber.
Dominican amber is also 90 percent more transparent.
Inclusions are generally more visible.
See Fossils in Dominican Amber at :