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Books about Amber

In addition to the following books, here are links to my favorite gem and jewelry magazines:

Lapidary Journal Magazine
Metalsmith Magazine
Ornamnet Magazine
Mineralogical DigestBook

The Book Shop

Gemology, Gemstones and General References

Buying and Pricing Gemstones

Gems:Myth, Legend and Metaphysics

Jewelry Making and Metal Working

History of

Jewelry Appraising


Individual Gems


Sapphires and Rubies





Lebanese Amber Book


Lebanese Amber:The Oldest Insect Ecosystem in Fossilized Resin
by George Poinar, Raif Milki

This concise volume covers the major aspects of Lebanese amber-- its origins 130 million years ago, its role as a commodity in ancient cultures, and its study and collection today. .



The Amber Book: Ake Dahlstrom and Leif Brost (Rocks, Minerals and Gemstones)cover
by Lief Brost

This excellent book on amber contains details of amber's formation, geographical locations, history, folklore, identification and present-day importance in jewelry. Although small in size and number of pages, this book is packed full of useful and fascinating information about amber and its past.

The authors have included all the relevant scientific information that is required to examine and identify amber from its imitations. With nearly 100 photographs, 65 in full color, the book is a visual pleasure to read and enjoy. A historical timeline is presented in chart form to help put the formation of amber into perspective. Amber has trapped within it a multitude of ancient plant and animal life giving us a window into the past. World maps show the present and past locations where amber is found, with interesting photographs to reveal how amber is harvested. Curious stories describe myths and folklore. The details of testing and sorting amber from its imitations are well explained even for the layperson. A two-page bibliography and a list of major amber collections complete this book.

Amber Book Cover


by Andrerw Ross

This lavishly illustrated work tells how amber is formed, where it is found, and how to distinguish genuine amber inclusions from fakes. Demonstrates the many uses of amber in art as well as science, and recounts the search for DNA from insect inclusions. Detailed keys and color photos provide an identification guide to all the insects and other animals found in amber. Ross is curator of fossil arthropods at The Natural History Museum, London.

Amber Book cover


Amber: Window to the Past
by David A. Grimaldi

Grimaldi, chair of the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Entomology, has skillfully combined the natural history of amber with coverage of its uses throughout history in art and sculpture. He discusses the properties of various types of amber, its most common localities, the types of life it typically preserves, and examples of past forgeries. .

The Amber Forest Book cover


The Amber Forest: A Reconstruction of a Vanished World.
by George Poinar and Roberta Poinar

Long thought to be unique to the Baltic region, amber--fossilized tree sap, often bearing the remains of ancient plants and animals--is widely distributed throughout the world. Here entomologists George and Roberta Poinar take readers on a tour of one out-of-the-way amber bed, located in the rainforest of the Dominican Republic, that formed over a period between 45 and 15 million years ago. This particular amber, formed mostly from the pungent sap of the algarrobo tree, attracted many curious creatures, including stingless bees and scorpions, as well as bits and pieces of material that happened to be floating by: hairs from a long-extinct Antillean rhinoceros and a saber-toothed tiger, spider webs, and seeds from plants that now take on slightly different forms. The Poinars' findings show that the prehistoric Antilles region, formed from large-scale volcanic and tectonic events, has declined in biodiversity, and they help give a more complete picture of the ancient climate than has hitherto been available.xcellent book... superb photographs... delightfully written... careful research... compact format. Ward's books are consistently well done.

When Life Nearly Died Book cover


When Life Nearly Died:
The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time

by Michael Benton

Today it is common knowledge that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteorite impact 65 million years ago that killed half of all species then living. Far less well-known is a much greater catastrophe that took place at the end of the Permian period 251 million years ago: 90 percent of life was destroyed, including saber-toothed reptiles and their rhinoceros-sized prey on land, as well as vast numbers of fish and other species in the sea.