Can people have amber eyes?

How Rare are Amber Eyes?

You can can see commonly in the animal kingdom such as birds, wolves, felines, or owls, amber-colored eyes in humans is very rare.

Like hazel eyes, just 5% of the world’s population has them, making them one of the rarest colors in the world.

Unlike brown eyes Amber eyes are most commonly found in peoples of Asian, Spanish, South American, and South African descent.

What Causes Amber Eye Color?

Just like skin and hair, the color of your eyes is determined by melanin.

Melanin can cause light to disperse along the color spectrum when it hits the iris. This is known as Rayleigh scattering, and it’s what determines the color of your eyes.

There are two kinds of melanin:

  1. Eumelanin — a black-brown pigment. It’s abundant in people with brown eyes. People with amber eyes have less than those with brown eyes.
  2. Pheomelanin — a reddish-yellow pigment.  Higher levels of this cause eyes to have a yellowish tint.

It’s believed pheomelanin plays a role in amber eyes appearing as they do.1

Genetics determines levels of melanin, making eye color fixed at birth.

There are at least 16 different genes that influence eye color. Scientists do not yet fully understand the ways they interact with each other.

The OCA2 gene is thought to be the most important, because it controls melanin production.5

What’s the Difference Between Amber and Hazel Eyes?

Hazel Eyes are typically a mix of green, brown and gold colors. If your eyes are solidly golden you have amber eyes.

What Celebrities Have Amber Eyes?

A number of famous people have amber eyes:

  • Smoke Bones
  • Justin Bieber
  • Jennifer Garner
  • Nicole Richie
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Edward Cullen
  • Jane Seymour
  • Eliza Dushku
  • Darren Criss
  • any more?
Amber eyes, which have slightly more melanin than hazel eyes but not as much as brown eyes, account for about 4.5-5% of the world’s population. Humans of Asian, Spanish, South American, and South African descent are most likely to have amber eyes.
Melanin comes in two forms: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin is brownish-black, while pheomelanin is reddish-yellow. Amber borrows some of its color from eumelanin and some of the color from pheomelanin (also called lipochrome). Many think amber-colored eyes contain a high level of pheomelanin.
Amber eyes come in various colors, just like the gemstone for which they are named. Consider amber eyes to be light brown in color with a golden or copper undertone.

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