How to care for amber jewellery

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A few quick guidelines to help you keep your new amber in the best condition.

Your new amber is alive. The stones are still breathing and interacting with the environment. The colour may change over time—this is expected and contributes to the unique, intensely individual nature of amber. Each piece of amber ages differently. Each is composed of different combinations of plant materials and fossil inclusions. Science has yet to replicate the chemical signature of amber in the laboratory, so amber retains not only beauty, but also a bit of mystery.

People have always desired and worn amber jewellery. It is widely claimed to be the very oldest semi-precious material used for human adornment. It was worn for many reasons—for protection, for beauty, to signify tribal affiliation, and frequently given as a gift with a personal meaning. Just as it is today.


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While amber is durable enough to withstand millennia—it is also fragile.

 

Even so, caring for amber jewellery couldn't be easier. 

Because amber is brittle, the owner should avoid allowing it to come into sharp contact with hard surfaces. For example, the owner should take an extra moment to set it down on a dressing table rather than casually tossing it.

This is especially true for carved pieces, cameos and intaglio jewellery forms, so the owner should be extra mindful when handling these types of designs.

That said, amber cameos are typically passed down in families as heirlooms, so there is no need to feel anxious when handling them, just be a little careful.

Amber is also soft and as such, may easily be scratched. It is the softest and lightest of all gems.

Try to keep your amber away from solvents (including chlorinated water), household cleaners and avoid   exposing your amber jewellery to any extreme heat or chemicals. This includes hair sprays, perfumes and various jewellery cleaning chemicals. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use perfume or hairspray when wearing amber though. It's just that ideally, you would use these first before putting on any jewellery, not just amber. But specifically regarding amber—this is so the piece doesn't become coated with a dull whitish film, which may then chemically bond & become permanent. As noted above, your amber really is alive, it is porous and it really is still interacting with the environment.

When not wearing, it's always best to wrap and store amber jewellery away from direct sunlight—inside a pouch or jewellery box. With bead necklaces, you  should hang these when not wearing to help retain drape and avoid tangling.

If lustre is ever a concern, simply apply a tiny drop of olive oil and rub with soft flannel to remove excess oil and restore the polish. 'Less is more' with the olive oil.
 

Sterling silver is the traditional metal paired with Baltic amber. Since the late '90s, Polish Sterling silver has by law contained special anti-tarnish agents. So it should rarely tarnish. (Moist environments or salty air may hasten the process though.)

If it does tarnish, simply rub it with a silver polishing cloth. These are widely available in shops for just a few pounds and seem to last forever. You will find these handy for keeping all your Sterling silver jewellery bright and gleaming. It's also kind of fun and magical to just wipe away the tarnish and see the gleaming metal with so little effort.

If you follow these easy guidelines, your amber jewellery will reward you with a lifetime of service and wonder. It will stay just as beautiful as it is the day you open the box and see it for the first time.

We hope you found these hints helpful and that you enjoy your amber jewellery for many years to come.
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