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This stone is of yellow gold or yellow-brownish color. It was fossilized from various now extinct coniferous trees, and has been prized since prehistoric times. Amber burns with a bright flame, has a pleasant odor, and becomes electrically negative by friction. By some amber is thought to protect against Witchcraft, sorcery, and poisons. Except for the pearl, which is older, amber is used as jewelry and amulets. The Phoenicians were heavy traders of amber. The Roman considered it a curative for headaches, throat infections, and a phallus made of amber was the ultimate protection against the evil eye.

Other magical and curative properties of amber are bringing good luck, helping women in labor, keeping a person cool in the hot sun, a remedy for failing eyesight, helping earaches, deafness, hay fever, asthma, and curing many intestinal and kidney ailments. Jet, or black, amber has similar properties. In Iceland, jet serves as a protective amulet. (see Gem Healing) In medieval Europe, jet was burned to ward off evil spirits. A.G.H.

Sources: 4, 9; 15, "Amber"; 70, 197.

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