B is for Baltic Amber
Amber is a fossilized tree resin that definitely earned its spot among world’s rarest gems.
Tens of thousands of years ago, humanity fell in love with little pieces of ‘solidified sunshine’ that washed ashore the Baltic sea. Different civilization praised amber for its rare beauty and healing properties; to the extreme of building a whole room covered in amber (and rebuilt in 2003).
I like to think of amber as small windows to the past, where wind, rain & forest elements are suspended in time. A masterpiece by mother-nature set in silver & gold by master jewelers, makes our collection at David’s, of Baltic Amber jewelry a unique one. Our collection started in 1960’s with antiquity pieces and peaked by the early 1990’s when Russian artist sold their creations of amber jewelry in the USA. Currently, we are working with numerous artist from around the Baltic Sea to get colorful and playful pieces of jewelry made with world’s best amber.
A few of my favorite things about amber are:
- Amber was burnt onboard ships and boats as offerings to the goddess of the sea.
- Amber beads are worn by babies in order to help with teething pain (there are no scientific data to back it up but little ones sure look cute with tiny amber necklaces).
- Ground Baltic amber is added to teas in order to overcome diseases. (again no scientific data – but we’ve heard some stories…).
- NO – amber is not melted into bottles and sold as perfumes -Copal might be used along with a huge list of natural and synthetic substance.
- NO NO NO – Ambergris has absolutely nothing to do with amber!
Since amber is very soft and not a crystallized material, cleaning should be done with extra care. Wash the pieces with mild soap and warm water, and restore amber shine by polishing off old bee wax with plain toothpaste and dry washcloth. Better yet – bring your pieces to us for a professional cleaning and restoration.
For amber colors check out our slide show “Baltic Amber Colors”
Here are some of my favorite links and must watch videos about amber:
- “The Amber Time Machine” a BBC documentary by David Attenborough. – could be purchased on iTunes or found on various documentary websites.
- A short YouTube about the amber room:
- Ester Edry