Amber

If you watched the movie Jurassic Park you probably know that amber is fossilized pine tree resin and that some amber have insects trapped inside. In the movie the scientists extracted dinosaur DNA from a mosquito.

It made a good story but it does not comport with the geological history of the earth. A mosquito trapped in amber could not contain dinosaur DNA because most amber is too young. It’s only 25 to 50 million years old and the dinosaurs were supposed to have lived and died over 65 million years ago.

But don’t let the unlikely story spoil your interest in this most unusual gemstone. The fact is more than 1,000 extinct species of insects have been identified in amber.

Amber is mined today in the Baltic states and the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic amber is older and is the preferred stone. Baltic amber is likely to have insect inclusions.

But get this: amber prices can range from as little as $20 to as much as $40,000 or more.

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