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Amber repair

Hello all, My daughter bought me a lovely finished piece of amber
(with a bug in it!) and packed it in her luggage for a transatlantic
flight. When she unpacked the piece, it looked like it had developed
a split - like wood does as it dries. Anyone know what happened?
Even more important, is there any way to “heal” the split? Thanks in
advance to all you wonderful Orchidians. Judy in Kansas, where the
tomatoes are ripening like crazy

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681

Hi Judy, When I was in Thunderbird Jewelry Supplies in Gallup
recently I purchsed amber epoxy. Its in two tubes in the orange
trimmed box. If you can’t find it locally that’s a good source.
Joyce, atop my little hill in the Colorado Rockies

Dear Judy in Kansas: Sounds like the amber cracked maybe from heat.
Is it cloudy and does it have an opaque covering to it? My first
piece of amber was Baltic from my mother. I took it to a jeweler
about 20 yrs ago, who I thought I could trust, to place a bale after
drilling a hole. When I picked it up (and paid good money) it had a
cloudy and sticky surface. He told me to put it in the sunlight and
it would turn back. Not. I sent it off to New York to be repolished
and never let it out of my sight since. I think this was a sign that
I needed to do my own jewelry work someday. From reading about
amber, I think a leather buffing wheel is used but heat is dangerous
since it is resin. I think there was an article in Lapidary Journal
about 2 or 3 yrs ago about amber that might help. I wish I could
find the journal for you but everything is in boxes since our move.
The tomatoes sound great. Good luck Pat

Hello Pat, Thanks for your suggestions. The amber is not sticky or
clouded. Just this split that looks like what happens to your
thumbnail when you ram it against something hard and the edge starts
to separate into layers like mica. Otherwise, the amber is clear.
Do you have any idea what caused the cloudy, sticky surface on your
amber? Exposure to a solvent perhaps? Did the NY person have
anything to say? I don’t want to unintentionally create more
problems. I’ll check my back issues of LJ for the article on amber.
Yeah, the tomatoes are wonderful… sun-warmed, eaten off the vine!
Of course I have to beat the turtles to them. Those amazing critters
literaly climb the tomato vine to reach a ripe fruit! Judy

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681

Hey Judy: Yes, the jeweler stated that the amber was subjected to
heat while soldering. The jeweler in NY cut away the damaged part and
rebuffed the cloudy, sticky covering off with a leather buffing
wheel. The soder was done by someone else and with tremendous
success since it has been at least 14 years ago and I wear it
everyday. The possibility of a solvent is something to think about.
Because of this incident and others, I chose jewelry and enjoy
learning and doing. Amber has always interested me since the age of
amber is remarkable. I have amber chunks that have been dropped by
mistake but have not cracked in half. The only other thing I can
think of is severe temp change possibly. Your turtles sound very
large and well fed. The weather in your area sounds very hot but
perfect for tomatoes. Hope our garden is planted for next spring.
Nothing better then fresh vegs. Good luck Pat