All About Amber

Best Cut Gems explains to you All About Amber!



Amber rough was found in early Stone Age excavations and presumed used for talismans and amulets. Thousands of years ago, this highly treasured fossil resin seeped out of coniferous trees and formed Amber.  Sometimes insects or twigs would get stuck and caught in the sticky, dripping tree sap and this would form neat inclusions inside the Amber. 

Amber is an organic gem same as Ivory, Ammolite and Pearls.  These gems came from something that once was alive; it is not of a mineral origin like a Garnet.

In the first century a man experimented and found he could make cloudy Amber clearer by boiling the Amber.  He did this in pig fat.  Over the years, the melted pig fat advanced to using oils.  With trial and error, they found that Rapeseed Oil had the closest refractive index to Amber.  The Amber was placed in an iron pot and submerged in Rapeseed Oil.  Slowly the Amber and Rapeseed Oil were heated to boiling.  The oil would fill all the microscopic crevices and bubbles that were in the Amber.  This would make the Amber more transparent, better clarity.  Some Amber has small circular inclusions that hold water.  These were flattened to disc shapes when the Amber was boiled.  The discs are also called “Sun Spangles.”

Green Amber

Vivid Green Amber is Baltic Amber that has been heated.  This is a stable method used to enhance the color.  Natural Green colored Amber is very rare and not as vivid as the green heat treated Amber.  Natural Green Amber would never have sun spangles inside of it. 
Heat treated Amber is still gem quality Amber. The heat treatment is common and very stable.

Amber Folk Lore

Wearing Amber Jewelry is said to balance a person’s mood.  Depression and anxiety will be much less.  Amber will also give its wearer confidence.

Caring for your Amber

Clean your Amber in lukewarm water and mild soap. No chemical cleaners!  Shine with a bit of vegetable oil; store it separately so it does not scratch.  Put your Amber on after using your cosmetics and hair spray.