Prized since the Stone Age, treasured by ancient civilizations, as well as 18th- and 19th-century European monarchs, amber (particularly 40,000-50,000 year-old Baltic amber) is still highly valued for its natural translucence. A glowing organic gemstone (naturally occurring in various shades of brown, yellow, or green), amber is actually the fossilized resin of prehistoric trees. Natural inclusions such as plant life or insects increase its worth.
Highly regarded by ancient civilizations for its unique aqua coloring, turquoise is a rare phosphate of copper that only forms in the earth's most dry and barren regions. The name turquoise derives from the fact that this gemstone was brought to Europe from eastern Mediterranean traders, known as Turks. Colors can range from green and greenish blue to sky blue. Turquoise is a birthstone for December.