amber inclusion archive

Canadian amber

Sam Cooley is an avid amber hunter and has travelled extensively in Kachin state with Kachin missionaries, he also writes, photographs and videos his amber expeditions. Sam although pure Canadian learnt to speak both some Myanmar and also Kachin dialects, he has driven a motorbike alone around Kachin and has great amber hunting abilities.

Feel free to contact him for any Canada or US enquiries
Phone +1.613.647.627.9180
Email sam.m.cooley at

Here is a video about amber hunting in Kachin filmed by Sam Cooley - FULL Dodging rumour and insurgency: The hunt for Kachin amber Published on Jan 31, 2017

MYITKYINA, MYANMAR — The discovery of the world’s first preserved dinosaur tail embedded inside a chunk of amber made headlines in newspapers across the planet last month. Nicknamed Eva, this small piece of fossilized tree sap is fast becoming a scientific phenomenon due to the intact chemical structure of the organism inside.

The exceedingly rare and highly valuable Cretaceous-era tail ended up in the hands of a paleontologist named Lida Xing, whose group obtained the 99-million-year-old stone during a 2015 trip to Kachin State in Northern Myanmar, the origin of some of the world’s best amber inclusions, the flora and fauna found inside the gems.

A dinosaur tail blows every other inclusion out of the water and is a big deal for gem dealers around the world, some of whom can sell a single spider inclusion for US$1,000. Eva could easily fetch US$100,000.

Since Eva’s discovery, great tales of disguise and deception employed by Xing to visit insurgent-held regions of Kachin State have been reported. Through the use of fake identification and locally worn face paint, Xing is said to have entered insurgent-controlled mines to conduct research before eventually coming across the now-famous “dino-bird” tail.

The tales seem to indicate the whole act of obtaining amber from Northern Myanmar is a death-, disease- and arrest-defying stunt. It’s not quite that dire, since anyone with enough guts to travel to Kachin State can score a good deal on amber inclusions, but few foreigners are aware it’s even possible to trade in what might be a $1-billion industry, let alone advisable given the country’s turbulent past. visit to read the full story.

Here is a rare insight into the Canadian National amber collection Published on Apr 18, 2017

Inside a large multi-level building with smoke stacks on Carling Avenue in Ottawa is an extremely large collection of more than 18 million insects, a handful of which are ancient specimens collected and obtained with the assistance of sticky tree resin from 80-100 million years old.

In this video federal scientist named Jeff Cumming leads the viewer through the Canadian National Collection of insects, arachnids and nematodes, where he works as an entomologist who specializes in predaceous flies (which are flies that eat other flies).

Currently the Canadian National Collection hosts more than 1000 specimens of insects embedded inside ancient amber fossils, many of which have been analyzed and studied by Cumming.

He is among the team of international researchers who have named many extinct ancestral flora that can no longer be found on earth today. In this video he explains the reasons why studying these ancient insects can affect our understanding of biology today.

Canada - well-known amber mining areas

ⓘ Alberta

British Columbia Similkameen Mining Division

ⓘ Coalmont Mustoe, G. E. (1985). Eocene amber from the Pacific coast of North America. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 96(12), 1530-1536

ⓘ Princeton Simandl, G.J. (2009): Nonmetallic minerals other than coal: Industrial minerals, gemstones and aggregate in British Columbia, Canada; British Columbia Geological Survey, Paper 2009‐2, pages.


ⓘ Cedar Lake George O. Poinar (1992) Life in Amber. (Stanford University Press)