THE PHYSICAL AND OPTICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF AMBER
Amber is a “gem” used as a fine stone, non-mineral but of organic origin, just like coral, mother-of-pearl or oyster pearls. It results from the fossilization of coniferous resin in Oligocene sediments and alluvium. Of C12H20O formula, sometimes with inclusions of H2S, amber has a hardness of 2 to 2.5, a luster; it is transparent to translucent and has no crystalline structure. Its break is conchoidal, its density 1 to 1.1, its bluish white or green luminescence. Amber is very electrostatic.
THE MAIN DEPOSITS OF AMBER
Amber results from the polymerization of isoprenes, components of the resin of certain trees, under the effect of high pressure … and hundreds of thousands of years. The main deposits currently exploited are in Europe, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. European deposits are located in countries around the Baltic Sea. Some pieces have inclusions very useful for science, such as air bubbles, water, insects trapped in the resin. All these elements provide information on the age of the gem and the environmental conditions of the time when this resin was released. An exceptional piece found in Lithuania encloses even a complete lizard!
THE COLORS OF AMBER
Amber varies from yellow to brown depending on the slight variations in its composition and also its age: in fact, its surface tends to darken over time, the oldest pieces often being “cognac”. The most common shades are reminiscent of all varieties of honey … Royal amber is white, more fragile than classic ocher-colored gems. There are also very rare varieties of amber green or blue, but the specimens found on amber jewelry are most often treated to obtain these shades.
THE ADVICE OF OUR GEMOLOGIST: HOW TO CHOOSE AMBER?
Soft gem, easy to work, it is however rarely presented facets because they might wear out and quickly lose their sharpness. Most of the time, it is simply cut to the desired shape and polished then mounted in jewels like amber bracelets. Be careful to buy a jewel of quality on a trusted site, because it is a material often imitated.
HOW LONG PRESERVE THE BEAUTY OF AMBER?
Amber fears heat: it melts easily in the flame of a candle, giving off a characteristic scent of pine sap. To clean it, just a little cold water and soap, then wipe it with a soft cloth. It is best to avoid repeated rubbing with abrasive surfaces, to keep all its shine and transparency, avoid wearing your ring when doing household chores. Healing wands is the best option for you.
WHAT ARE THE METALS WITH AMBER?
The money is usually the metal associated with amber as its clear gloss and rather cold brings out the sun and warm color of the gem. However, there is also amber mounted on yellow gold jewelry, metal just as flamboyant, which can produce a very nice effect. Amber can also be mounted on jewelry Vermeil (silver jewelry covered with a gold veneer)
STORIES AND LEGENDS AROUND AMBER
The name of the gem comes from the Arabic “anbar”, itself derived from “anabir” sperm whale: it originally meant ambergris, intestinal sperm concretion, aromatic substance used in perfumery. Its Greek name “elektron” and Thales’s discovery of its electrostatic properties led to its name being given to electricity. Amber has been used to make jewelry as early as Prehistory (Aurignacian, around 30-39 000 BC, or in France in the cave of Mas d’Azil, Magdalenian habitat: 12 to 17 000 years before our era) ; then the Egyptians and the Celts made use of it, and beautiful legends were born. The Slavs see their divine tears, just like the Greeks: according to Ovid, they are the tears of the girls of Helios, turned into trees after the death of their brother Phaéton, killed by Helios for misbehaving the solar cart. For the Baltics, the pieces of amber floating on the Baltic are the tears (still …) and the shards of the stones of the submarine palace in ruins of Jurate, the goddess of the Sirens: she was indeed punished for having kidnapped for love a beautiful sailor when she was already engaged to a god…
VIRTUES AND BENEFITS OF AMBER
Many moms still attach a necklace or an amber pendant to their child’s neck to prevent pain from teething. Be careful thought to choose a very solid collar, with a good clasp and knots between each pearl to avoid ingestion in case of breakage! Amber has been used extensively in lithotherapy. Its fiery color makes it an energizing auxiliary, which warms and gives strength. It would also have virtues to prevent or soothe joint and inflammatory problems (rheumatism, osteoarthritis …), would be anti-infectious and effective against all diseases related to allergies (asthma, eczema …)
ASTROLOGICAL CORRESPONDENCE OF AMBER
This stone with the deep honey color has always fascinated by its fire and gold bursts. It symbolizes the sun, purity and immortality. It is associated with the Virgin, Gemini and Leo, and it is obviously not a planet but the solar star it symbolizes! In Chinese astrology, it corresponds to the sign of the Tiger, polarity Yang (positive), whose metal is gold and food … citrus. A stone of summer and light.