Amber (or, technically, resinite) is fossilized tree resin (not sap), which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times.
There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents. Because it originates as a soft, sticky tree resin, amber sometimes includes plant remains, moss, pine needles, spiders or even frogs and lizards as inclusions. Most amber is 30 to 90 million years old; semi-fossilized resin is called copal.
Good quality amber is used for the manufacture of ornamental objects and jewelry.
The best known amber deposits, known as succinite, are in the Baltic region, along the coasts of Poland and Russia, especially the Sambia Peninsula near Kalinigrad. The Baltic coast still produces 90 percent of the world’s amber today. There is also Burmese amber which is called burmite and is much redder than the Baltic variety; it is also harder and denser. Sicilian amber is known as simetite, (for the name of the river along which it is found).