understand amber jewelry, it is first important to
understand exactly what amber is.
Simply put amber is fossilized resin from trees.
Because of this, it is common for pieces of moss,
pine needles, insects, and lichens to be found trapped
within the resin, often times having been there for millions
of years. Even
though amber is not mined as most precious stones, it is
still considered beautiful and a durable gem.
One of the
things that makes amber so interesting is the long history
of theories conjured up by alchemists and philosophers.
For example, during the Roman era in the 1st
Century, it was thought that amber was created from lynx
urine, with the dark amber being the product of the male and
light colored amber coming from the female.
Another fascinating theory was that the rays of the
setting sun somehow became congealed in the sea, which was
then cast upon the shore in the form of amber.
240 BC, an astrologer discovered that amber had many of the
same characteristics and properties of gemstones.
He then found that a tree by the name of Lynx, which
grows in Liguria, was actually responsible for the creation
of this substance. He
also found that while the beautiful amber or gold color was
most common, other colors were formed to include yellow,
green blue, violet, and black.
These rarer colors today are highly sought after,
with the green and blue being the most valuable.
amber is transparent or translucent with a greasy-like
cloudy appearance that is commonly seen in its raw form is
caused by pockets of air trapped inside.
However, once the amber is heated, oil fills those
spaces of air, which then transforms it to the clear shade
we know it as best. Then,
when amber is rubbed briskly with a soft cloth, it is
actually charged with electricity, causing pieces of tissue
paper and straw to attract to it.
This was actually a discovery made during the 6th
Century by a German scientist, which is how the name,
“electron” was formed, a derivative of
many wonderful purposes.
For example, amber was first used for medicinal uses.
For example, amber was ground to a powder and then
mixed with wine. The
belief was that the properties when consumed provided relief
from croup, asthma, fever, and tonsillitis.
After being consumed, a chunk of amber or the powder
kept in a small vial was then worn around the neck, which is
how it first started being worn as jewelry.
Amber was also used in treating painful ear
in powder form, amber was mixed this time with honey and
rose oil, and then packed into the infected ear – thus
quickly became a popular choice for jewelry.
Along with its healing powers, amber has radiant
color and durability. Therefore,
it was quickly designed for rings, earrings, bracelets,
necklace pendants, and even hair jewelry.