Amber is a beautiful gift from mother nature. It comes in many different colors - yellow, orange, red, white, brown, green, blue and almost black. It may be transparent or clouded. Transparent tones range from pale to dark yellow, to yellow light brown. Cloudy amber comes in many colors.
Amber is fossilized resin of ancient trees that grew in “amber forests”. Through various physical and chemical changes the resin becomes Amber. Amber is unique because it is able to preserve the organic tissues in it. It is very common to find pieces of plants and insects, trapped in amber making it extremely valuable to both collectors and the scientists. A beautiful and fascinating gem!
Amber is found in various parts of the world. The largest amber deposits are off the shores of the Baltic Sea. Baltic Amber is the most sought after and valuable for making amber jewelry.
Baltic Amber has been used for decorative items since prehistoric times. A Baltic amber amulet has even been found in Egyptian tombs . Amber was also very popular in ancient Rome during the reign of Neron when: jewelry, ornaments, amulets, and even dice were made from amber. During the Middle Ages, amber prayer beads were exported. From the 16th century into the 18th century item made from amber included jewelry, dishes, buttons, pipe mouth pieces, chess sets and a host of other fine products.
The majority of Baltic amber comes from a 400-square-mile area - the Samland Peninsula, now known as the Kaliningrad region. The Kaliningrad amber mine supplies 99% of the Baltic amber. Up until the 19th century amber was retrieved manually from the sea. During the latter part of the 19th century operations became much more sophisticated as they began dredging and mining for amber. Since then millions of pounds of Baltic amber have been mined.. A small town in the Kaliningrad region has the world’s largest amber mine.
Amber has a special beauty in its ability for each piece to be truly original in nature and content. The downfall to amber is like anything organic it does not last forever. Baltic amber is known to have the longest life expectancy. Taking proper care of your amber will result in enjoyment for many years, sometimes thousands of years as seen with the recovery of jewels from the past.
Some important tips for caring for your amber:
- Never store amber where it may rub against hard surfaces such as metal or other jewelry.
- Do not expose amber to harsh chemicals such as soap, jewelry cleaners, perfumes, hair products.
- Do not expose amber to direct sunshine or heat.
- To clean your amber wash in lukewarm water. Use a soft cloth to wash and dry. To restore the shine polish with pure olive oil.
- Treat your amber like any fine gem
Where amber with pride, add it to your jewelry wardrobe and be sure to make your fashion statement!