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Purchasing and Working with Amber

I’ve read some of the really interesting past threads about the
history, identification and purchasing of amber. However, unless I
wasn’t thorough and if my memory serves me correctly, the last good
bit of I found with regard to a source was dated 2003.
Does anyone know of any current, reputable vendors from which I can
buy some genuine amber-particularly the red or “cherry” amber?

Also, I know it’s pretty soft and I’ve never worked with it before,
so any general tips for setting it and for cleaning/polishing a
finished piece?

Thanks in advance.
Tamra Gentry

I’d like to follow up on Tamra’s question…my mother gave me a
strand of nice large red amber beads that belonged to my
step-grandmother. They are a little beat up and dull and need some
cleaning. I’d love to take these and make something new with them
(not for sale-but I want to make something new for the family). What
can be done to make these shine again?


I will list a few places to surf the web (I do not sell, nor do I
have any connection to those sites). I hope this may help.

Pre-cut Baltic amber cabs (some rough if you have deep pockets for a
butterfly or pinecone, the only rough pieces they will sell you). I
can state that this source is good.

Blue amber (that’s right) try
Mexican amber, try
Bulk amber

I will also list this; it was posted on the rough for sale list last
week. I will not comment on it, or if or not this is trustworthy,
probably is, however in everything always use due caution.

<snip - Please do not cross post>

Hope this, the above, may be useful

Don’t know of a source but you can LIGHTLY buff amber with Zam to
bring up the shine. Caution!!! Amber is extremely soft material. It
can easily be overpolished if you are heavy-handed on the buffing
wheel. Good thing, if the stone starts to smell like PINE SOL or
turpentine, at least you will know you have a genuine amber stone.

Ruthie Cohen

Hi…also, you can buff the amber on your denim jeans - or a scrap
from an old pair, with a little Zam!

RM Christison

I am sure in the past someone posted that you can use brasso to
polish amber but that may not remove all the deep scratches so I
would try polishing a small area first of all and see how it goes. If
you do a search in the archives I am sure you will find lots of input

Christine in the Ridge

To get a really nice shine on amber, I hand-rub it with denim, then
finish by hand-rubbing it with chamois cloth (the kind you can use
for drying your car).

IF you do want to machine polish it, keep it at a VERY low speed.
It’s ridiculously easy to burn or scorch the surface with friction
heat, which is why I prefer just a nice hand-rubbing finish.

Also - I assume you know not to put it in the pickle or ultrasonic
and to avoid harsh chemicals. Amber is quite porous.

Otherwise, it’s a warm, lovely material to work with and can be
truly gorgeous when nicely worked.

Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry

Toothpaste and a soft cloth work great! Rub it on, polish and then