From the Dominican Republic, we offer this exceptionally rare amber specimen: a mini Praying Mantis fossil, frozen in time. Although the critter's legs are a bit disheveled, (as shown in the photo) All-in-all this is quite a fantastic specimen. The overwhelming majority of the Mantis is exceptionally well preserved. Even its left front leg looks only to be behind the insect, on its right side. So, it appears to be intact, yet twisted behind. We have seen one other specimen available at an auction house. That specimen was not nearly as well preserved as this, and the suggested asking price was $2500 - $3500. So, although this is clearly the most pricy amber specimen we've offered thus far, we feel the price point is extremely competitive.
Measurements: ~7/8" long x 1/2" wide x 1/2" deep
Weight: 1.5 g
Location: Dominican Republic
Time Period: Oligocene / Miocene ~ 22-28 myo
Amber is the fossilized resin of a variety of ancient species of coniferous and flowering trees. It is one of the few organic substances to qualify as a gemstone. Amber's color and opacity is determined by the type of tree that produces the resin, (as well as the density of microscopic air bubbles inside). Amber has the ability to preserve bits of forest debris from millions of years ago. Also, insects, small reptiles, plants and seeds, and even microorganism (like bacteria) are found in amber, and have been examined by scientists for more clues as to how our diverse planet evolved. Amber is used for many cosmetic purposes and in the medicinal field, such as in perfume, incense, skin care, baby teething and more. The oldest Amber recovered dates back to the Upper Carboniferous period, (about 320 million years ago), but most of the commercial Amber found was created by plants that did not evolve until the Jurassic or early Cretaceous periods, (about 20 to 180 million years ago).