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Meaning of the Color Amber: Symbolism, Common Uses, & More

Amber is the color of positiveness, energy, and warmth

Today’s piece is about the symbolism and the meaning of the color amber as part of the Color Meaning Series.

For more colors, check out our guide on color meanings.

Summary of the meanings of the color amber
Amber color meanings

Where can we find the meaning of the color amber?

Is it in the semi-precious gem made of fossilized resin or in a warm sunset? Perhaps the meaning of amber is in the traffic lights telling drivers to get cautious or in the autumn colors whispering a new season.

Amber is a bright and warm shade located halfway between orange and yellow on the color wheel. It’s an energizing color widely used in designs, especially the interior decor.

This bold and overall happy color symbolizes vitality and safety, and it’s linked with wealth because of its obvious similarity with the color gold.

In today’s blog post, we’ll discuss the symbolism and meaning of amber, its physical effects, most common uses, and facts–all about the energizing amber.

Amber Color Symbolism in Different Cultures

  • The color amber is named after the rich hue of tree resin (Baltic amber), which often fossilizes into a hard stone. The use of amber in nature has been around for centuries, with roots tracing back to the Stone Age. To this day, it’s often used in jewelry and interior design.
  • The name “amber” was first used to describe the color in the early 16th century. The name is old and time-honored, just like the meaning that the color amber evokes.
  • In the United States, the meaning of amber is often synonymous with steady alertness. It’s the middle color used in traffic lights (the one indicating the light is about to turn red, telling drivers to get cautious). It’s also often used as an indicator light or the turn signal light in cars. Roadside maintenance or repair vehicles and roadside signals are also often amber-colored.
  • Near St. Petersburg in Russia, the Catherine Palace contains a room called the Amber Room. It’s lavishly decorated in gold and amber hues.
  • Several soccer and football teams have used amber for their team uniforms. This is in part because of the color amber’s meaning: maturity, boldness, passion, and quiet strength – all traits you want in a sports team.
  • Amber is strongly associated with autumn. Autumnal shades of orange, yellow, and brown go very well with amber. Amber’s warm tones bring to mind the cozy atmosphere treasured during autumn.

What Does Amber Mean in the Bible?

The Bible used colors and numbers in figurative ways throughout its many books, and that’s also true for amber.

In the biblical meaning of the colors, amber represents the Presence of God, fiery passion, wisdom, and God’s anointing (Ezekiel 1:4).

Psychological Meaning of Amber

Located between the yellow and orange in the color wheel, amber is a bright and warm color with golden undertones.

Amber gem

Amber Color Meaning

Here’s some insight into amber’s meaning, according to color psychology.

Bold and Energized

Amber is earthy, but it’s far from stagnant or stationary. Instead, it’s bright and vibrant.

It can encourage you to take an active role, even as it enables you to feel secure and homey.

Because of this, it’s no wonder amber is often used for warning signs and traffic lights. The message it sends is “be alert, but there’s no need to panic.”

Confidence and Safety

A lot of amber’s meaning comes from its warm tones, which can help you feel more secure and protected. It seems to envelop you in the sense of safety. 

Picture a warm amber sunset. Don’t you feel at peace with the world, confident that all is well? It’s no surprise that having amber around can promote happiness.

Traffic light showing amber light

Increased Feelings of Frustration

Since amber is essentially a slightly toned-down version of orange, it has similar downsides as orange (but to a lesser extent). 

Most notably, large amounts of amber have a tendency to make people feel on-edge, even perhaps angry at times. 

Even if you find amber comforting, use it judiciously to prevent negative feelings from taking over.

Inner Wisdom

Amber is deeply related to fossils and the ancient world, so it’s no wonder that it has a tendency to connect us to something deeper and older than ourselves.

Amber can be an excellent color to have around when we want to tap into ancient wisdom.

The Natural World

True to its name, amber is an earthy tone found in abundance throughout nature. It’s no surprise that it goes well with greens and neutral tones. 

Picture the first pops of autumnal foliage as they peer through the green trees in early fall. 

Amber signals a connection to the earth and its stability and beauty, encouraging us all to blossom into who we’re meant to be.

Woman staring at amber sunset

Maturity

Amber has been very popular in décor since the 1970s, so it’s no wonder it indicates maturity (and perhaps a time gone by). 

It can encourage us to set aside immature, childish impulses and strive to become our most evolved self by tapping into our roots and history. It isn’t the most trendy color, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its merits.

Amber can be especially beneficial to have around when you’re trying to nurture relationships since it pushes aside feelings of insecurity and jealousy. Instead, it seems to feed everything it touches.

Physical Effects of Amber

  • Amber is found on the spectrum of orange and yellow, often with a dash of brown. So it provides a combination of the effects of these colors.
  • Amber can be used to relieve anxiety and stress, dissipating feelings of mental exhaustion. Amber seems to feed the body, mind, and soul to many people, inspiring action to fix whatever might be ailing you.
  • Amber can also be a powerful tool against depressed moods. It stabilizes the mood and reminds you of the good things in your life, encouraging an optimistic outlook.

Shades of Amber

Amber: #FFBF00

Amber SAE ECE: #FF7E00

Amber is one of several technically defined colors used in automotive signal lamps. In North America and Europe, SAE standards and ECE regulations govern the colorimetry of vehicle lights. Both standards designate a range of orange-yellow hues in the CIE color space as “amber.”

Most Common Uses of the Color Amber

  • Traffic lights and turn signals – transportation
  • Theater stage lighting
  • Food
  • Travel
  • Interior design
  • Jewelry

Amber Gemstones

Amber gems are not gemstones in the traditional sense. Instead, they fall into organic gemstones since amber is a fossilized tree resin that makes beautiful jewelry.

These gems have a rich golden yellow color which gave its name to the color.

Facts About Amber

  • Amber is an intermediary color on the RYB color wheel.
  • Most people think traffic lights are yellow, but according to official guidelines in North America and Europe, the middle traffic light must be amber.
  • The Amber Alert is not related to the color. It stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. The acronym was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped in Arlington, Texas.[1]
  • Only 5% of the world population has amber eyes.

Amber means: maturity, boldness, and optimism
Effects of amber: uplifts, energizes, and gives a feeling of warmth
Positive traits: confident, wise, and optimist
Negative traits: edgy, frustrating, and annoying