Several years ago, while vacationing in Denmark, I learned that amber is formed from pre-historic tree sap that the wind swept into the Baltic Sea. There, it hardened in the cold water and sank to the bottom of the sea. Waves and storms continually wash the amber to shore, where it is now collected, shaped and polished, giving us this wonderful transparent "stone" to use in jewelry! Amber often has small inclusions of air bubbles, dirt and can even have bugs and bits of foliage embedded in it.
While I'm personally not a big fan of giant pieces of amber with embedded bugs worn as jewelry, I do love smaller, richly hued pieces of amber incorporated into beautiful jewelry. When in Denmark, I purchased a unique trapezoid shaped amber pendant with a contemporary brushed sterling silver setting. Ten years later, it still remains one of my favorite necklaces. Here's a photo of that necklace:
The "Windswept" earrings (top photo) are currently for sale in my etsy store here. Next time you see a piece of amber, take a close look at it and imagine how old that bit of tree sap really is. Millions of years!