Fashion jewelry is not merely the custom to wear certain gems or metals. It refers to much more than that: to fulfilling one’s fantasies and enriching lives by satisfying psychological needs, to peppering existence with a variety of colors, shapes, and textures, to tickling senses and giving wings to dreams. Considering this, let’s take the example of amber jewelry, one of the oldest and most astonishing creations of beauty lovers. Fashion has a strong word to say in sustaining amber jewelry and every year new beautiful creations are available on the market.
Combined with precious metals, amber can become an exquisite jewel. The beauty of amber jewelry is a result of good polishing and the precise cut of a variety of amber stones. The color of the stones used to make amber jewelry is often gold, but amber can also come into many various unusual colors like: black, green, ivory, yellow, red, orange and even white. Natural amber may contain insects, feathers or flowers. Its colors are a feast to the eye and it is unique because it imprisons something, unlike other precious stones. There are amber stones 30-90 million years old and they represent frozen moments in time. Those treasures are a way to look back into well preserved moments of a life that existed in the past.
Amber jewelry is an original choice also because it has some interesting properties. It has a nice pine smell when you rub it on a piece of cloth, it’s warm and it contains succinic acid (a substance known for its therapeutic properties). The stone is not really a stone, but a resin that can become soft and malleable when heated and that can be chiseled very easily by jewel makers. Amber can be shaped in the most wonderful ways of creating unique pieces.
This unusual stone is not used only for jewelry. It is in fashion and, therefore, artists use it to create amber sculptures and to decorate beautiful unique items with it. Amber jewelry is often used as magical amulets that protect from bad luck. It is also thought that amber jewelry can heal diseases from sore throats to anxiety. So, amber is an organic gem that people love not only for decorative purposes.
Amber jewelry was not always in fashion. A long time ago, the amber stone was considered to have flaws and was rejected from an esthetical point of view. Although it had periods in which its beauty was denied, there were moments in time in which amber jewelry was used as a diplomatic gift for princesses and princes. In the meantime, people used it in powders for curative purposes.
Because it began to be much appreciated, people started faking amber jewelry and they created quite an industry. Fake amber jewelry is everywhere nowadays, but there are some inexpensive ways to see if your stone is man-made or not. You can test your amber gem’s authenticity by putting a heated needle on it. If the smoke smells like pine the gem is amber, but if it smells like plastic it’s fake. For a nondestructive way of testing, you can also rub the amber gem with a piece of cloth and smell it. If it smells like pine, it is a natural resin. The bad taste can tell you whether it is made of plastic not. If obtained through a chemical process, the just washed amber can taste poorly. Some other clues can also tell the truth about it. Amber does not melt, but it will burn. It will float in a bowl where you put one part salt and two parts water, while plastic and copal will sink.
If you do own real amber jewelry, you have to know how to protect it and save its value for many years to come. To clean your amber jewelry all you need is warm water and a clean piece of cloth. You mustn’t use any soap or detergent on it because they might ruin the amber’s structure. Even salad oil, butter or lard can destroy the resin. Amber jewelry has to be protected from heat or excessive cold because extreme temperatures may deteriorate it. A soft cloth is needed for wrapping each piece of amber jewelry to avoid contact, get scratched or become dirty.
There are many legends built around amber. It is said that the yellow resin is made of tears from the sun or (in Greece) from a nymph. Amber is also present in Ovid’s work as an incredible god-like material that is out of this world. Even if you don’t believe that amber has incredible powers, there is no possibility of denial that amber jewelry is special. Wearing amber jewelry will give a more mysterious and unique look because the amber stone is itself an enigmatic gem that preserves history and charms the eye.