Amber Earring with Filigree View larger

Amber Earring with Filigree


An oval of Amber surrounded by silver filigree.

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Amber is fossilized tree resin that has been used since antiquity in the manufacture of jewelry and ornaments and also in folk medicine.  According to Greek myth, when Helios' son, Phaeton was killed, his mourning sisters became poplar trees and their tears became the origin of amber.   Elektron is the Greek word for amber, referring to its ability to acquire an electrical charge.  A possible test for amber is to see if it acquires a charge after it has been rubbed against your clothes - it should then be able to lift a tiny piece of paper.