Most people think of natural jewelry as pearls, shiny pieces of coral, or precious and semiprecious stones, polished and set in gold or silver. But there are botanical gems that rival some of these minerals in value and beauty. Amber is the fossilized resin of ancient forests that thrived millions of years ago. During the fossilization process, the resins are literally metamorphosed into a hard, durable, plastic-like polymer. Often the amber contains insects and spiders 30 to 50 million years old (or older), perfectly preserved in nature's transparent tomb. Vegetable ivory is a hemicellulose polymer that comprises the endosperm of some palm seeds. With a hardness and luster of true ivory, it can be polished and used in jewely. Jet is a black mineral similar to hardened coal, formed by the carbonization of ancient conifer forests buried beneath the sea. It takes a high polish and makes beautiful pendants and necklaces.