How rare is blue amber?

Is blue amber one of the rarest gems in the world?
You bet it is, despite the fact that its price does not quite reflect that fact. Not yet.

Most prices for rare gems are basically adjusted according to what the seller wants to have and the buyer is willing to pay. And that depends a lot on the value the general public opinion puts on said gem.

Diamond mine in Russia

The yearly production of gem-quality diamonds is at a whopping 130 million carats. That’s more than 20 metric tons. A lot more.

But as De Beers’ Nicky Oppenheimer said: ”I don’t want diamonds to be discounted. I abhor it. What is tantalizing is that at the luxury end – the famous blue box of Tiffany’s – there are brands getting the margins and markups enjoyed in the luxury goods business as a whole. We want to see stores pushing the preciousness of diamonds rather than treating them as a commodity you can discount.”

Or this one: ”We realised that R&D was going to make the difference to this business. Diamond can be engineered in many ways to suit different applications. You can control characteristics like shape, crystal strength and thermal resistance that’s why it’s called an engineer’s best friend,” said Hultner, Diamond Research Laboratory (DRL), South Africa.

See how ‘rare’ diamonds are? Rare my foot.

Blue amber mine

\And Blue Amber? Although there are no official numbers, but in comparison, top-grade Blue Amber will be found up to 50 kilos per year, high-grade Blue Amber has probably a yearly output of approximately 150 to 250 kilos, while the low-grade does not exceed 900 kilos per year. Now, that IS rare.

Just how is Blue Amber graded? There are three factors in setting prices and both fluctuate radically: availability, color and translucence or even transparence.

Availability is probably the most controlling one. Since Blue Amber is only found in just one small region of the world, many outside factors influence the amount surfacing, the least of which is not rain.

flooded blue amber mineAnd nobody likes to work in a flooded mine. Therefore, during the rainy season (Ocober to May) finds are scarce. And during the hurricane season (June to September), the mines are often flooded as well. The other question is: for how long will blue amber be found? The mines have not yet run out, but there is a strong possibility that it might happen one day.

Color and translucence are the more complicated ones. The more inclusions, the stronger the color. The more translucence, the weaker the color. We have divided Blue Amber into different variations, and still each one can vary within its group.

blue amber qualitiesThis makes it difficult for a blue amber merchant to please customers since he is bound by nature’s limitations. In the Baltic most of the amber produced for the world market is heated an treated to guarantee an even quality. With blue amber, this is not possible.

Being this scarce, why isn’t Blue Amber more expensive? The answer is: top grade blue amber is expensive. Compared to regular amber and its color variations it is in the highest price range, fluctuating with the market value according to the above factors. Therefore, if you find a piece of blue amber being offered too cheap, it might not be the real thing you are looking at.

What about it’s investment value? Unlike diamonds Blue Amber actually is an investment whose value increases over time. True, there will never be a well-known Blue Amber market in the likes of diamonds, but that is not a bad thing, to the contrary.

Doesn’t it feel good to know you love Blue Amber, a gem so much more valuable than diamonds? Doesn’t it please you that you are now above all the brain-washing and conditioning you’ve been put through over the years?

Yeah…diamonds are a girls best friend. But Blue Amber is her true love.