Amber jewelry has been popular for centuries due to its stunning colors and unique characteristics. While many people have heard of amber jewelry, few know the true history behind it or the various methods used to create amber jewelry pieces. In this article, we will unlock the mystery of amber jewelry by exploring its history, properties, and how it is made.
What is Amber Jewelry?
Amber jewelry is made from the fossilized tree resin which is thousands of years old. Amber has been used for various purposes for many years including for making jewelry pieces. Amber is often found in warm climatic regions, including the Baltic Sea area especially in Lithuania, Denmark, and Russia, and is referred to as Baltic Amber. There are also other types of amber that can be found in other parts of the world.
Amber is soft and light, perfect for making jewelry. The resin is an organic compound that can be easily molded and shaped, making it suitable for making various kinds of jewelry like beads, bracelets, pendants, and earrings. The color range of amber jewelry varies from pale yellow and golden to dark brown and chocolate. The variously colored amber pieces are valued for their beauty and rarity.
Amber has been used throughout history for its mythical and healing properties. Amber has been deemed to have mystical powers since the Neolithic period. Amber was believed to ward off evil spirits, heal illnesses and bring good luck to its wearer. The ancient Greeks used amber to create decorative containers for perfumes, and also in their sacred rituals. The Romans imported amber from the Baltic and considered it a luxury item used in jewelry, perfumes, and other cosmetic items. In medieval Europe, amber was used for making rosary beads and other religious items. Amber has always been more than just a beautiful piece of jewelry; it has been used in various ways, and its popularity continues to grow until today.
Types of Amber:
There are different types of amber, each of which has its unique characteristics. Here are some types of amber commonly used in the jewelry industry:
1. Baltic Amber
2. Colombian Amber
3. Dominican Amber
4. Burmese Amber
5. Rumanian Amber
Baltic Amber: This is one of the most popular types of amber because it’s the most abundant in the amber world. This type of amber is ancient and has been found to date back to 44 million years ago. Baltic Amber is valued for its warm and vibrant colors that range from soft yellows to fiery oranges, also a distinct smell of pine resin can be felt when it’s rubbed.
Colombian Amber: This type of amber is found in Colombia and is very rare. Its dark brownish-black color is caused by the presence of iron oxides. The Colombian Amber is known for its transparency and its exceptional preservation of the biological material found within.
Dominican Amber: This type of amber is found in the Dominican Republic and can be over 25 million years old. It is different from most other types of amber in that it often contains insects or other small creatures, perfectly preserved.
Burmese Amber: This type of amber is found in Myanmar and has a distinctive red or green shade. Its rarity and beauty make it very valuable, and it is frequently used as a decorative jewel.
Rumanian Amber: This type of amber is found in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. Rumanian Amber is unique since the tree resin is mixed with volcanic ash, resulting in a dark color, and it’s less clear than other types of amber.
How is Amber Jewelry Made?
Amber jewelry is crafted from unprocessed amber or amber that has gone through a stabilization process. The stabilization process includes heating the amber in resin, increasing its clarity, and making it more durable. The following steps are involved in making amber jewelry:
1. Choosing the right piece of amber
2. Cutting the amber into the desired shape
3. Polishing the surface of the amber
4. Drilling holes for beads and pendants
5. Assembling the jewelry pieces.
Care and Maintenance:
Like all jewelry pieces, amber jewelry deserves proper care and maintenance. Here are a few tips to help maintain the longevity and appearance of your amber jewelry:
1. Clean your amber jewelry after each use with a soft cloth to remove any sweat or oil that may have accumulated on it.
2. Keep your amber jewelry away from harsh chemicals such as perfume, hairspray, and makeup.
3. Do not expose amber jewelry to direct sunlight or high temperatures as this may cause the amber to become excessively dry and brittle.
4. Store your amber jewelry in a soft cloth bag when not using it.
Amber jewelry has been a popular choice for many years due to its warm colors and unique characteristics. Amber has been used for thousands of years for its mystical and healing properties, and today it is used for its aesthetic value. When choosing an amber piece, it is important to consider the different types of amber available and the methods used to craft amber jewelry. With proper care and maintenance, your amber jewelry will continue to look stunning for years to come.