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Amber with Insect Inclusion
Amber is a rare and unusual substance. Put simply, amber is a fossilized tree resin or sap. Ancient forests were believed to be very dense and only the strongest trees would survive. If a tree were wounded it would produce healing resin or sap in great quantities. The pinus succinfera or “Amber Pine,” as it was more commonly called, was one of these trees. Through the passage of time this sap hardened and fossilized. Amber may be anywhere from 1 million years old to 200 million years old; however, most amber today is 30 million to 60 million years old.
Amber may be found with pine needles, leaves and sunspangles (inclusions caused by heat that resemble fish scales). On occasion, amber is found with insects preserved inside.