Amber eyes and hazel eyes are two different but closely related eye colors. While they may appear similar at first glance, there are some key differences between them.
What are amber eyes?
Amber eyes are a rare and distinct eye color that tends to have a strong golden, copper, or russet brown hue. The pigment responsible for amber eye color is called lipochrome. This pigment is also found in green eyes, but is much more concentrated in amber eyes.
Unlike hazel eyes which feature a mix of brown and green, amber eyes typically do not contain hints of green. The defining characteristic of amber eyes is their solid, golden appearance that stands out compared to other light brown or mixed eye colors.
True amber eyes are very uncommon, occurring in less than 1% of the global population. They are most frequently seen in parts of Asia and among people with mixed Caucasian and Asian heritage.
What are hazel eyes?
Hazel eyes have a multi-colored appearance that combines shades of brown and green. The amount of brown and green can vary widely, creating different subtypes of hazel eyes:
- Green-hazel eyes – Mostly green with brown spots
- Light brown-hazel eyes – Mostly light brown with specks of green
- Dark brown-hazel eyes- Mostly dark brown with little green
- Gray-hazel eyes – Mix of gray, green, and brown
This range of possible colors gives hazel eyes an intriguing, complex look. The primary pigment responsible for hazel eye color is melanin. Melanin concentration determines whether hazel eyes take on more brown or greenish tones.
Hazel eyes are relatively uncommon, occurring in around 5% of people worldwide. They are most commonly seen in people of European descent.
Key Differences Between Amber and Hazel Eyes
While amber and hazel eyes may sometimes appear similar, there are distinct differences between the two eye colors:
|Amber Eyes||Hazel Eyes|
|Uniform golden/russet brown color||Multicolored, mix of brown and green|
|Very rare (less than 1% of people)||Uncommon (around 5% of people)|
|Caused by high concentration of lipochrome pigment||Caused by varying concentration of melanin pigment|
|Most common in Asia and mixed Asian/Caucasian people||Most common in people of European descent|
As shown in the table, the main differences come down to color consistency, rarity, pigmentation, and ethnic tendencies.
Amber Eyes vs. Other Eye Colors
Amber eyes also stand out compared to other similar looking light brown or yellowish eye colors:
- Amber vs. Light Brown Eyes: Light brown eyes do not have the same solid, fiery golden or copper tones as amber eyes. They tend to be paler and muddier.
- Amber vs. Yellow Eyes: Yellow eyes lack the rich orange and brown hues seen in amber eyes. They are a very rare bright yellow color.
- Amber vs. Red/Violet Eyes: These extremely rare eye colors are more vividly pigmented and deeply colored than amber eyes.
So in summary, amber eyes are most easily distinguished from other eye colors by their specific strong golden/russet brown color with little to no green mixed in.
Interesting Facts About Amber Eyes
Amber eyes have some fascinating quirks and little known facts associated with them:
- Amber eyes are thought to be an evolutionary adaptation that helped early humans see better in cloudy conditions in northern areas.
- The lipochrome pigment that causes amber eye color also acts as an antioxidant that may help protect and improve eye health.
- Babies with amber eyes are usually born with dark gray/blue eyes that gradually change over several months to amber as pigment develops.
- Amber eyes often have a red/orange limbal ring around the iris that can make them stand out more.
- Expressions like “eyes burning amber” refer to the fiery glow and luster of amber eye color.
So in some ways, amber eyes are more than just a pretty eye color – they may actually provide health and vision benefits!
Are Amber Eyes Really That Rare?
It’s often stated that amber eyes are one of the rarest eye colors, occurring in less than 1% of people worldwide. However, some argue that amber eyes may not be quite as rare as once thought for a few reasons:
- Improved education and awareness about amber eyes has led to more people recognizing that they have this eye color.
- Advances in photography and digital image technology make it easier to identify amber eyes that may previously have been mistaken for light brown or hazel.
- Amber eyes are becoming more common in certain parts of the world due to increased racial diversity and intermixing.
So while amber eyes are still considered very unique, some estimates put their incidence closer to 2-5% globally. Further research is needed to get more definitive statistics on the rate of natural amber eye color.
How to Make Amber Eye Color Pop
There are several tricks people with amber eyes can use to make their eye color stand out more vibrantly:
- Use brown or golden eye makeup: Lighter brown mascara and eyeshadow will contrast nicely with amber eyes without being too harsh.
- Try reddish lipstick shades: Go for brick reds, coppers, burgundies. These will complement the warm golden tones.
- Wear jewel tone clothing: Deep ruby, emerald, sapphire hues will make amber eyes glow against the colors.
- Put on blue-tinted glasses: Blue-lensed glasses neutralize redness and bring out the richness of amber eye color.
- Get proper sleep and hydration: Being well-rested reduces redness so amber pigment shows through better.
With the right makeup, wardrobe, and self-care, those with amber eyes can make them look their absolute radiant best!
In summary, amber eyes are distinctly different from hazel eyes in their solid golden-brown coloration. They are extremely rare worldwide but may be becoming more prevalent due to intermixing. Amber eyes have unique qualities and health benefits that make them truly special. With proper enhancement techniques, their captivating glow can be made to shine through beautifully.
So for those lucky few with amber eye color – flaunt it! Your eyes are a truly uncommon and luminous treasure.