Amber is very affordable and comes in all different sizes and shapes. More than likely, you have a tumbled piece with a small insect or you might have a bracelet or necklace made of Amber beads. Most Amber sells for $15.00 to $50.00 dollars per gram if it has insects or inclusion. If you have a cabochon then you can expect a value of $5.00 – $15.00 per gram in value.
Ever since the Jurassic Park movies, Amber has been a popular gemstone for amateur and professional collectors.
If you love Amber then you probably have Blue Amber in your collection already but if you don’t then you should seek it out from a reputable dealer or gem and mineral show. This variety is rare and offers a unique blueish-grey hue.
Amber comes in a range of tones and saturations but it is always yellowish-brown, slightly orange, or in some cases it has a blueish-grey hue. The darker the tone and higher the saturation the higher the cost per gram. Extremely large stones don’t necessarily bring a higher price per gram but if the specimen has a large insect inside then you can expect to pay a premium. The main sources of high-quality Amber come from Dominican Republic, Baltic Sea Region, and Southern Mexico.
How to determine value and cost
When determining the value of the gemstone you will be using GIA guidelines which means color, clarity, carat weight, and cut. You’ll want to look at each one of these individually and then circle back when finished to evaluate the stone as a whole. If you need help identifying Amber then go here first.
Color is going to be the most important factor when determining the value of gemstones. Clarity and carat weight are tied for the second most important factor. When valuing Amber you’ll need to know that Blue Amber is the most sought-after.
Color – The more intense the color the more valuable the stone is. When dealing with warm colors, think of red and orange, you’ll want to determine if there are brown undertones. If you can’t see brown undertones then the color should be very vibrant. The more vibrant and saturated the color the more expensive the gemstone. If the gemstone has a unique “neon-like glow” then it will demand the highest price per carat.
Clarity – Buyers and collectors prefer stones with no internal inclusions visible to the eye but Amber is a little different. Collectors are willing to pay more for stones with rare inclusions such as insects, plants, and other organic materials. Amber can be found with visible inclusions all the way to flawless. To determine the clarity ranking you’ll need at a minimum a 10x loop and a higher-powered microscope to confirm internally flawless and flawless designations.
If you can visibly see the inclusion while holding the gemstone then the highest designation would be SI1 and if the inclusion detracts from the overall beauty of the stone then the clarity designation would be I1 – I3.
Clarity designations – FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, I3
Carat – Amber can be found in sizes ranging from below 1 gram to above 10 grams. Generally speaking, Amber can be sourced in any gram weight. The larger the stone doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth more money per gram due to rarity.
Cut – It is sad to say but cut has the least impact on value and cost unless it affects the stone in an extreme way. For example, when you look at the stone you would be able to see through it which means light is not being reflected back to the eye. This is called a window in the stone and it would have to be quite large to impact the price. The other extreme would occur when you look at a stone and see a rough circle or oval shape inside the stone. This occurs when the stone is very shallow and it’s reflecting the rough girdle inside the stone. Note: the girdle is the edge/side of the stone where the pavilion and crown meet.
Colors by Value
Light Colored Amber Cabochons are worth, $5.00 – $50.00 per gram
- Large sizes are common
- Mostly found in inexpensive jewelry
Amber With Insects and Inclusions is worth, $15.00 – $50.00 per gram
- Common in all sizes
- The more unique the insect is the more it’s worth
Amber Without Insects or Inclusions is worth, $5.00 – $15.00 per gram
- Medium to large stones are common
- Cabochons, briolettes, beads, and carvings
Blue Amber is worth, $25.00 – $75.00 per gram
- Colored gemstone dealers will have these from time to time
- Fairly rare due to low commercial availability and high demand
Faceted Amber is worth, $8.00 – $12.00 per gram
- Mostly beads or briolettes
- Rarely seen in rings or pendants as a standalone stone
How valuable is Amber?
Amber has never brought a higher dollar per gram because the lower-quality material is readily available. There are stones selling for higher prices because of the inclusions which make the stone more rare. If you’re looking to add Amber to your collection then you should focus on stones with insect inclusions.
Amber Value Will Continue to Increase
Each year I do research on market prices for Amber and I can tell you the prices for lighter-colored stones are fairly constant but the price for Blue Amber slowly rises each year due to its rarity.
If you’re not sure how to value a gemstone then you should consider a gemstone appraisal. Individuals acquiring gemstones through inheritance, estate sales, and auctions typically have the gemstone appraised to determine the value and to ensure the gem is what they think it is.