For thousands of years, amber jewelry has captivated humans around the world. It is one of the most basic, natural stones in existence, yet it retains a raw beauty that is prized in everything from rings to necklaces. Best of all, amber is not nearly as expensive as other stones, and it comes in a multitude of different colors.
What Is Amber Jewelry?
Amber is simply fossilized resin. While many people misconceive amber as hardened tree sap, this is not the case. Instead, amber is plant resin that has lain in the ground for thousands of years. Time gradually solidifies the compound, turning it into raw, jagged pieces of stone. The final product contains terpenes, alcohols, and esters, and is treasured for both its beauty and natural healing properties.
After extracting amber from the ground, jewelers refine the stones into smooth, elegant shapes, which are then mounted onto pieces of jewelry. Here are some of the most common forms of amber jewelry.
- Amber rings
- Amber earrings
- Amber bracelets
- Amber pendants and necklaces
- Amber brooches
Among these forms, amber jewelry varies greatly in terms of complexity, design, and price. However, no matter which kind of design you prefer, you will be able to find a customized piece that suits your tastes.
What are the health benefits of wearing amber jewelry?
Unlike many other jewelry pieces in the world, amber is known for its natural healing properties. When worn against your skin, like on a necklace, the innate oils of the stone are released into your bloodstream, which can both soothe your skin and balance the fluids in your body.
Another popular reason to buy amber jewelry is for its innate warmth. Our ancestors noticed this trait thousands of years ago, and today, the same warming properties can help people find balance among the complexities of modern society. No matter how cool or indifferent the rest of the world may seem, the amber stone on your jewelry will warm your mood and help you to relax.
Amber jewelry is also becoming more popular as a way to soothe teething pains in babies. Just like in adults, these amber teething necklaces warm up when placed against the skin, which releases natural soothing compounds into the baby’s bloodstream. This has been shown to reduce the inflammation and redness in babies’ cheeks that is caused by teething pains.
Which kind of outfit suits amber jewelry?
Since jewels come in all different shapes, colors, and forms, how you wear it is up to you. With its natural, warm coloring, amber is a great way to liven up the look of any outfit, especially if the piece is set in sterling silver. However, regardless of the clarity, light, and energy of your amber jewelry, the pieces you finally choose should be based solely on your personal preferences.
Amber Jewelry Colors
When most people think of amber, they think of a rounded, yellowish-colored stone. While this is the most common form of amber, stones can also come in a number of different colors. Unlike amber, other types of luxury stones may be artificially treated in order to attain a certain color. Meanwhile, amber naturally changes its color based on the plant resin, soil, and environment in which it is fossilized.
Green amber jewelry
As one of the most popular forms of amber, green amber is extremely rare. Generally, the deeper the shade of green, the more expensive the piece will be. Meanwhile, amber jewelry with yellow-green or light green stones is less prized. Some jewelers even choose to treat green amber with heat, which draws out a more beautiful hue.
Blue amber jewelry
Blue amber is undoubtedly the rarest form of amber. For that reason, it is not widely used in the jewelry community. While it appears blue under some lights, shining light directly through a blue, amber stone can cause it to look like a standard, yellowish amber piece. Nevertheless, when complemented with a nice piece of jewelry, blue amber can be one of the most beautiful stones in existence.
White amber jewelry
The milky-white hues of white amber are prized by many jewelers. However, it is not quite as popular as other colors. Usually, white amber contains impurities. Furthermore, finding it naturally is rare, as it accounts for less than 2% of the world’s supply.
Red amber jewelry
Nearly as rare as blue amber, red amber is more commonly seen in jewelry pieces. Its deep, eye-catching hues are a perfect way to complete a special outfit.
Clear amber jewelry
Clear amber is prized for its preservation of bugs, insects, feathers, and other small bits of prehistoric organisms. For that reason, it’s less popular as a stone in amber jewelry and is seen more as an interesting collector’s item.
Brown amber jewelry
These stones are similar to the standard, yellowish color, but significantly darker. Like yellowish stones, brown amber is fairly common and inexpensive. However, if you want your jewelry to have a richer, more deeply defined look, then you may want to opt for brown amber stones.
Black amber jewelry
The darkest of all kinds of amber, black amber accounts for less than 15% of the world’s total supply. The black color is caused by impurities within the fossilized plant resin, like plant matter, or parts of trees. In its most elegant form, black amber gemstones are jet black. However, when held up to the light, black amber generally turns into a dark red, or brown, color.
Why Should You Buy Amber Jewelry?
Because of its innate health benefits and natural warming properties, amber is often referred to as nature’s living gemstone. Surprisingly inexpensive and wondrously elegant, it has many indefinable qualities that can lead to an improvement in your life.
In that sense, amber jewelry is more than just a piece of bling that you wear around your neck, or on your finger; it’s a stone that links us back through thousands of years of history, to a time when our ancestors first discovered its mystical properties. Today, in our cold modern society, the organic warmth of amber jewelry has never been more valuable.
How To Identifying True Amber?
Fake amber stones are sprouting everywhere. Make sure you are not buying a plastic imitation that has totally zero healing properties. Other sold amber stones are also what is called Copal or immature resin. Unlike the real thing, it is not fossilized, nor is it as valuable as the real Amber. Many have been trying to pass Copal as Amber. They are not in any way, the same thing. There are several ways to spot a fake. Here are some tips on how not to be conned:
- The easiest way is to taste the amber. A fake amber necklace will taste a distinct plastic taste while real amber has zero taste.
- Use solvents like nail polish. A fake Amber or Copal will not hold up to solvents while the real ones will not be harmed in any way.
- A real Amber will not be burned but will gradually melt while emitting a sweet pine smell. While fakes ones will burn and will emit a nasty plastic smell.
- Do a saltwater test. Mix one cup salt to two cups water and stir until salt is dissolved. Amber will float on the salt water solution while Copal and plastic ones will sink right to the bottom.
Amber is easy to care for.
Baltic amber is a soft fossil gem. On the gem scale of hardness, a diamond is a 10 and amber is 2-3, which means it can break if dropped on a hard surface. Baltic amber is the hardest of all ambers.
Natural Baltic amber will become even more beautiful with wear. To clean, simply wipe with a soft flannel cloth dipped in lukewarm water, then follow up by wiping with a dry soft flannel cloth.
Take care of your amber jewelry in the same manner as you take care of your other precious jewels. When not wearing, keep in a cloth bag or a jewelry box, away from the light.
Always apply your makeup, hairspray, etc. before putting on your amber jewelry. Never use sonic cleaners or expose your amber to solvents of any type.
With minimal care, your amber jewelry will stay as beautiful and precious as the day you received it.