Looking for a unique piece of designer jewelry?
When it comes to purchasing amber, no two pieces are alike. Amber has many beautiful qualities, colors, and variations to choose from.
Let's talk a little bit about what amber is, where it comes from and how to purchase top quality jewelry such as amber necklaces, earrings and more.
Amber is one of the oldest gems found in the earth's history. It forms from fossilized tree resin. It's usually yellow, orange or brown in color and sometimes contains plants or animals due to its sticky nature.
Amber dates all the way back to the Neolithic period and is valued as a beautiful gemstone. The first amber stone was found washed up on the beach. It is now mined in the Caribbean and off the seafloor.
How exactly does amber form? Trees produce sap and this sap turns into resin over time. Amber that looks like and has the form of gemstones derived from over 350 million years ago. The amber necklace you have is very old!
Amber hardens through the process of pressure and heat. Resin from trees breaks down when exposed to oxygen, and if it doesn't dissolve while it's sticky, it fossilizes. This process occurs over a long period of time and turns the amber into a full polymer.
There are four main qualities that amber necklace manufacturers and resellers look for when it comes to purchasing amber.
Color is the most desired quality to examine when purchasing amber. There are several different colors of amber, but honey colored is the most popular.
Most amber comes in brown, yellow or orange hue. All different colors price differently due to their availability and their mining.
Amber comes in pale yellow, true yellow, or deep yellow. It can have an orange tint or a brown tint. Deeper colors generally run for a higher price as they are more desired.
Green amber is a rare color to find. It's also known as "earth amber" as most of it found in the ground can contain particles of dirt. Tints range from yellow-green to deep green, which is often more desirable.
Found in the Dominican Republic is the blue amber. While not completely blue in color, when held up to the light, it shows a shiny fluorescent blue on the surface. The inside of this gemstone can show red and yellow colors and is rare.
Red amber is also a rare color. These pieces of the gemstone are quite expensive. Natural red amber is a deep cherry color and made from conifers. Other forms of red amber go through a heating process to bring out the red color.
Once you've found the color you like, clarity comes next in the quality process. Amber is an interesting gemstone due to the nature of its origin. The tackiness of amber aids in attracting particles and insects. Not all amber contains particles and transparency make it more valuable.
The clarity and exclusion of particles add to the price of a piece of amber. You are able to see the colors better and they appear richer.
Certain insects or other organisms found in amber, if rare, can lead to a rise in price and popularity. In order to be of true value, the insects must come from a prehistoric time and not an insect prevalent today. Assuring this is how you can stay away from fake pieces of amber.
Just like any other stone, cut matters when it comes to a piece of amber. An amber necklace and bracelet are most commonly made out of amber beads. Some designed with pieces with insects and others are completely clean.
An artistic amber necklace, bracelet or earrings can carve into a unique shape. This amber can carve into any shape you like.
Last but not least, karat is a property to consider when purchasing your amber. Amber comes in all sizes when it's mined. Finding larger pieces is going to prove difficult. Small pieces are easy to come by but generally don't contain any earth or insect particles.
Some larger karat amber pieces are manmade from putting smaller pieces together.
Natural amber is the rarest form of amber and undergoes little if any, processing. Natural amber will most likely look like any other stone and will not be of gem-quality.
Even if the stone is polished or shaped, it is still technically considered natural, though not in it's natural found state.
Processed amber made from smaller pieces is combined together under the pressure of heat. Pressed amber is less pricey because it's farther away from its natural state.
Amber necklaces and other amber jewelry are soft so they require a lot of care. Earrings, bracelets and small amber necklaces are the best choices due to their reaction to chemicals. Amber is easily scratched because it creates static electricity, drawing in tiny particles that cling to it.
Wearing your amber necklace, bracelet or earrings require you to be very careful as they are fragile. Avoid using household cleaners while wearing them as it can eat away at the stone. If it requires cleaning, clean it with a paper towel or a microfiber cloth.
If you have a carved piece, it requires very specific care. If it accidentally hits a hard surface, it could become damaged. Storing a carved piece of amber is best placed on a piece of soft material. Spraying your amber necklace with perfume could cause the outside layer to become cloudy, ruining the clarity of your piece.
While caring for your amber jewelry may seem intense, it protects your piece and keeps it beautiful. You can stop dreaming about the gemstone you're hoping to have. Now that you know that many properties that go into determining the quality of an amber piece, you can purchase one that
Amber is unlike many gemstones in that it is actually a fossilized tree resin. Its beauty has been admired for thousands of years. Learn more about amber symbolism with this handy guide to all things amber.