AmberProper care guidelines
Baltic amber (succinite) is a fossil resin which formed under natural conditions 45 million years ago. In spite of the many processes, which the resin went through to transform into amber, it remains in the fossil stage, i.e. is subject to oxidising and polimerisation. Since this process is ongoing, amber keeps changing so we can assume that it is a “living” stone, friendly to humans. Our forebears were interested in amber and used it for their purposes as early as in the 13 th millennium BCE. It is from that period that what we now consider to be the earliest simple drawings of predators and wild horses made in amber originate; the artefacts were found in Meindorf, Germany and Siedlnica, Poland.
And so, this unique stone has been fascinating humankind for well over a dozen millennia and has been a material for craft and art, as well as a stone thought to have magical and medicinal properties. Today, amber adorns most of the silver jewellery produced in Poland, which is exported throughout the world.
The characteristics and properties of Baltic amber
Baltic amber, otherwise known as succinite is the best known fossilized resin derived from prehistoric trees. To this day, it’s not been conclusively determined a tree native to Baltic amber. Since the nineteenth century, it is said to be the most common of the pine plant families – Pinus succinifera.
From the chemical point of view Baltic amber consists of 79% carbon, 10.5% oxygen and 10.5% hydrogen. It is practically insoluble in most common solvents.
Natural Baltic amber exists in two basic varieties (which depend on the internal structure) – transparent and opaque. Transparent variation is one in which there is no gas bubbles, otherwise known as trinket or honey, or in a small amount with a cloud. In turn, opaque variations may occur in the colors white and yellow.
Opaque white amber formed when the number of gas bubbles can reach 900 000 on the surface of 1 mm2. The internal structure is obtains then the form of foam, amber is very light, and the color becomes white. Opaque yellow amber is formed when the number of gas bubbles can reach 25 000 over 1 mm2.
Amber is a “living stone forever”, which manifests its life changes in color. This happens after exposure to air, light, and by changes in humidity and temperature. Changes in the color and structure of amber are noticeable after 15-20 years. Bright colors go into more orange, red, covered with bark. Amber airs from the outside to the inside.
In nature there is no red or black amber. These colors are artificial, obtained in an autoclave under the action of heat, pressure and other inhibitors.
Baltic amber contains from 3 to 8% of succinic acid and it is distinguished from the other existing in the world resins (they contain from 0 to 3% succinic acid). Most of succinic acid is in the outer layer.
Therefore, believing in the health benefits of amber, it’s best to wear products from not polished amber. In addition, rubbing it with a cloth will charge electrostatically and then it attracts small particles eg. scraps of paper. What’s more, amber burning releases a pleasant, resinous odor. Amber floats on the surface of the salty water but sinks in fresh water (due to density similar to that of sea water). The Mohs hardness is 2.0 – 2.5 (between gypsum – hardness 2.0, and calcite – hardness 3.0).
Explore the magical and healing power of amber
Amber contains many valuable trace element such as silicon, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, organic compounds combined with iodine volatiles, resin, acids. It has been discovered that succinic acid acts as biostimulator – it stimulates the nervous system, regulates the work of the kidneys and intestines, is antiinflammatory and antitoxic. This component is used as a basis for ointments and creams, as well as for rheumatism, asthma, ulcers and imitation of the skin and can be used in the treatment of bronchial, throat and thyroid gland. Acid and oil obtained from amber are also used by the cosmetics industry as they destroy free radicals and bacteria, have disinfectant properties, as well as mitigating the effects of bums and insect bites. Cosmetics containing amber are designed to care for tired skin. They also improve the hydration and lubrication, increase firmness and elasticity, reduce roughness of the skin and reduce wrinkles.
Proper care guidelines
- keep your jewellery in cotton pouches
- clean amber stones very gently with dry cotton cloth only. Amber is very soft and delicate stone so rubbing it too strongly and intensively may damage stone.
- you can clean silver and gold with jewellery care products but make sure that the product does not come into contact with the amber stone
- take off your jewellery before going to sleep
- do not ware it while practicing sports, washing up etc.
- do not sprinkle perfume on the stones and metal