A Guide to Amber Jewelry
Are you new to the world of amber jewelry? Read here for a complete guide to amber jewelry that includes everything you should know.
Keyword(s): amber jewelry
The Winter House in St Petersburg featured a room that was covered in several tonnes of beautiful, glistening amber. Many named it the eighth wonder of the world before it vanished without a trace in World War II. Do you have any of this naturally beautiful stone in your collection?
If not, amber can add a natural look to formal and casual outfits. Read on as we give our guide on amber jewelry.
What Is Amber?
Amber begins its life as sap from a tree. You can imagine this as the blood of the tree itself, feeding and running through it. Its purpose is to protect the tree and also help it grow new buds.
When the sap is cut off from oxygen, it begins to harden. This process is known as fossilization and takes millions of years. Once recovered, the sap is a yellow, stone-like material known as amber.
History of Amber
Not all amber gets fully formed. The sap that does not fully dry out but is still partially fossilized is known as copal. It still contains many of the oils that were inherent in the original tree sap.
Conifer trees are the most prolific producers of amber, and it is for this reason that most amber has its route in Scandinavia. Some 35 million years ago, as sea levels rose, amber began the process of erosion from the soil. This would see it washed through Europe's river system and into the Baltic and the North Sea.
How to Check If Amber Is Real
There are a number of ways to check if amber is genuine. Mainly, you should safeguard yourself by always purchasing from a reputable company. They will tell you the quality and type of amber.
Amber is a natural organic material, created by nature. Therefore, no amber should be perfect. Real, genuine amber will always have imperfections.
It may not be perfectly shaped. You may also see small cracks on its surface or bubbles of trapped air within it.
Surprisingly, Amber even has its own scent, though it is hard to describe. It is a strong smell of sweet, natural resin. Fake amber has a scent of plastic and manufacturing.
This test can only be done when you have a gemstone, and the amber is not attached to any jewelry. It involves placing amber in a cup of saltwater. It should float, whereas fake amber will sink.
This is probably the most useful test for anyone who has amber in their collection. This gem has electrostatic properties, so it should attract paper and dust when charged. All you need to do is rub it with a cloth for a minute then see if strands of hair are attracted to it, as you would get with a balloon.
Judging the Quality of Amber
When you are judging the quality of amber, there are two areas you should evaluate. These are the color and clarity of the amber itself.
Larger pieces of amber will be worth more, depending on the quality. You should shop around and look at various pieces to get an idea of what different quality levels are. Look for pieces that are shaped attractively and sit in silver necklaces, rings, and brooches you like.
Color should be the next factor you assess. It should be a deep yellow, that can go darker to almost red. Most amber is judged by how vibrant the color is and red pieces are sought after.
While amber should have imperfections, one look to be avoided is opaqueness and cloudiness in the stone itself. The more clear the amber, the more desirable it will be. The only exception to this is inclusions, which can even increase the value.
Picking a Setting
Amber jewelry can work in any setting. However, it is more sought after in silver jewelry. The reason for this is the silver finish helps the amber pop more and increases the color intensity.
This also works with gold, but as they are similar in coloration it helps to have a lighter metal. You could also combine it with other stones that have brown and yellow shades.
As amber is a product of nature, don't write off natural settings for it. Woods are also a great home if you want the hippy, bohemian beach-style look.
What to Wear with Amber
Amber is definitely an autumnal stone. Its yellow shade is reminiscent of crushed leaves and the changing of the season. Shades such as deep reds, browns, and rich oranges work extremely well with amber.
Other than these, any neutral or earthy tones will work perfectly. Beige, khaki, and off whites all benefit from the addition of amber.
Caring for Amber
The jewelry company you purchase the piece from should be able to give you some instructions on how to care for your amber. However, there are a few universal factors that may help prolong your stones and keep them looking great.
The first factor to consider is that amber is porous. Over prolonged periods, if exposed to water, the stone could get damaged. Remove it when you are swimming or washing.
This means it can also absorb any harsh chemicals it is exposed to. Never use cleaners and detergents on amber, and take it off if you have rings and are working with them.
Amber is also very easy to scratch. This can easily happen if it knocks against metals that are harder than the amber itself. As such, wrap it in a cloth when storing instead of placing it with other items in your jewelry box.
Sourcing Amber Jewelry
When looking for amber jewelry, start by deciding what pieces you want, be it amber on silver necklaces or gold rings. Shop around, looking at the quality of the metals and amber itself. You are sure to find a beautiful piece that will last forever more.
Roma Designer Jewelry should be your first stop. We have a huge selection of artisan Italian jewelry to freshen up your look. Click here to see all our collections and inspire your wardrobe today.