Pictured above are several polished samples of the fossil amber; the sample in the top left is unpolished.
Amber is the fossilized resin of a tree. As you can see, some of the wood of the trees got preserved with the resin, which gives this amber a wood-grain appearance . These pieces were collected near Malvern, Arkansas, where amber is found in beds of lignite: a soft, low-grade coal.
People have prized amber since pre-historic times for its beauty and its scent. It continues to be popular today in the production of jewelry and perfume.