What Is Amber?
Amber is a fossilized resin from pine trees that has hardened over many centuries. The pine trees produce resin to protect themselves when they get scratched or damaged, it helps them to heal the wound. Amber is considered a gem but is not a gemstone. It is a soft stone that ranks between 2.0 to 2.5 on Mohs’ hardness scale. It is warm to the touch and is lightweight compared to the other gemstones. Its specific gravity is between 1.06 to 1.10 and a refractive index of 1.5-1.6.
What Is Copal?
Copal is usually called the younger age of amber and is not fully fossilized. Copal is lustrous when it is hard and almost colorless or bright yellowish-brown. It dissolves in alcohol and other organic solvents on heating. It is used in making varnishes and printing inks.
The Ancient Uses Of Amber
Amber has been used in a variety of decorative items and used as jewelry since the Stone Age. It has been used as a medicine because of its healing properties. Many believed that amber has some mystical qualities due to which it promotes health, good luck, wisdom, protection, patience, and positive energy. Amber necklaces were used as a traditional European remedy for teething pain. Women in Northern Italy believe that amber has healing ability for the thyroid gland, so they regularly wear amber necklaces.
Baltic amber consists of succinct acid which is considered a healing oil. This oil releases when the amber beads heat up against warm skin then the body absorbs it. This oil is also bottled and sold.
Colors Of Amber
Amber is found in several colors but honey-colored is the most popular. There are more than 250 different shades of amber out of which 7 main colors are identified until today.
Caring Tips For Your Amber Jewelry
Amber is a soft stone and can easily be fragile while wearing. As it creates static electricity, it is easily scratched. You should remove amber jewelry while doing household works, gardening works, etc. It is very sensitive when exposed to direct sunlight so keep it away from hot climates and direct sunlight. It should be kept in a separate jewelry box and kept out of contact with other jewelry pieces.
If it requires cleaning, try to avoid chemicals and clean it with a paper towel or microfiber cloth. However, you should clean it regularly to maintain its shine.
Treatments Used To Improve Appearance
Heating is done to improve the clarity and color of the amber stone.
This treatment is also done for the enhancement of the color but it is not durable like the heat treatment. In this treatment, amber is cover with certain coatings
The cracks and pits in amber stone are filled with copal that makes it symmetrical and covers its irregular shape.
As amber is very popular, its imitations are also common and it is very easy to make amber imitations. The most common imitation of amber is copal as it is less valuable, other fake imitations are glass, plastic, and some stones with inclusions of insects, flowers, and leaves. Here are some ways that can tell you fake amber from real amber.
People love amber jewelry for its beauty as well as for its healing properties. Amber jewelry can give you many benefits such as anxiety relief, pain relief, etc., without adding expenses.