Thanks to all for the good of a week or so ago regarding
working with turquoise- it will be put to good use.
This is an excerpt from a recent Andzia’s Amber newsletter regarding
the Colours of Amber, see cherry amber near the end:
Always a topic of interest and frequent e-mails–How does this
colour happen? In the case of white amber, it may contain as many as
900,000 air bubbles per cubic millimeter, while clear amber may
contain but a few bubbles. The lighter amber is less brittle than
the clearer sorts, and is easier to sculpt and shape. Natural white
amber is rare (less than 2% overall), and is the best material for
creating forms. No wonder it has been so highly prized and sought
after for centuries. In ancient times when amber was used as a
talisman and in the middle ages, when amber was used extensively for
articles of religious devotion, the lightest colours were most
highly prized & were reserved for objects of spiritual meditation.
Green colour amber is extremely rare and appears naturally as a
combination of greenish-yellow and clear colours, generally quite
heavy with dark plant material. Like many other gems such as peridot
& turquoise, green colour amber is treated by a number of means,
including applying a dark paste to the back of the gem and then heat
enhancing the amber. The =93green=94 is the reflection of the paste on
the back of the gem.
This does not necessarily mean the material isn’t amber, only that
it is subject to certain treatments to obtain the coloring. Much of
the “green amber” one sees in the marketplace today is Dominican,
not Baltic, in origin. Baltic amber contains the highest percentage
of succinite, and therefore is the most highly valued form of amber.
Cherry colour amber is lightly heat enhanced and has always been a
favorite of high style enthusiasts. Antique cherry amber sells for a
small fortune. As always, deal with someone you can trust to give
you the full story of the amber you purchase. Authentic dealers will
be more than happy to discuss the subject with you.
Fakes & forgeries do abound in the marketplace, including
increasingly clever resins, outright plastics & pressed amber.
Infrared spectrascopy is the only reliable indicator of whether or
not a given piece of amber is genuine.
The International Amber Association (formerly the Amber Association
in Poland) is one body of experts whose mission is to educate &
scientifically delineate the various classes of amber. Not to crow,
but Andzia’s Amber is happy to announce we’ve just been granted the
first wholesale/retail membership in the United States.
For more amber lore, please visit us at
http://www.amberjewelry.com/myths%20and% 20history.htm, where you’ll
find more & links to amber resources on the web. Happy
Design & Sales