Baltic Amber was formed many years ago when forests in the Baltic Sea
region shed their precious sap (resin) into the earth. As the earth flowed into the Sea, so moved the Amber
, and eventually, onto the shores and the waiting hands of those who understood its miracle.
So how does the Raw Baltic Amber become the beautiful and homeopathic Baltic Amber Jewelry
we see today? To answer that question, we must first examine what Amber is truly made of.
The natural Amber that is drawn from the Sea is rough around the edges (to say the least) but is still a stunning lapidary product. It is a Fossilized Organic Resin
, and not a mineral, not a stone, not a gem. While it is by nature very soft, it is still strong enough to be cut, ground, drilled and polished. It will stand up to wear without scratches or cracks.
Every step is a process - and a project.
Step 1 commences with grinding Raw Amber on a belt, or sanding wheel. It is a tricky process and great care must be exercised to keep your fingers out of harm’s way. This step strips the natural outside coating of the Amber. This step also brings the Amber to a desired shape or form although the surface is still rough.
Step 2 begins with a preliminary polishing on what is referred to as a buffing wheel. This is also a difficult step for the Amber Artisans
because the wheel can whisk the rough Amber from your grip. The best artisans prefer using a compound which contains a major amount of wax for this process to allow the natural surfaces of the Amber to breathe. While natural Baltic Amber is soft and can be scratched, it can also be polished again to its natural beauty.
Step 3 commences with a very soft, clean “mop.” Artisans use their own special combination of compounds from complex blends of candle wax with finely ground chalk power to – who could have guess – toothpaste! Next, the Amber is put into a metal barrel filed with water and sand to tumble which shreds the hard exterior layer.
Following this process, the Amber is then put into a barrel filled with soapy water as well as pumice. It will then be tumbled for approximately 12 hours and will begin to have a very smooth finish. But we’re not done yet! Using a dry barrel which must be made of wood or similar soft material, built in a hexagonal shape, and drilled with a pattern of tiny holes so the amber can still breathe, the Amber is tumbled again overnight using a mixture of small cubes of wood and a specially created natural paste.
Step 4. We are now looking at the natural beauty “from within” of Amber that glows and is at the point where our artisans begin the design phase. The artisan’s tool for this phase is a modified drill bit which will either create the space or hole to insert the plastic closure pieces or to pass through the natural silk braided threads. It is critical to maintain a perfect alignment with the amber and the drill to maintain accurate perforation. However, sometimes it is necessary to redrill and that is accomplished successfully with a bit of mineral oil.
Tips to Know
Because natural Baltic Amber is pure material, there will be a tendency for the Amber to become warm during all three stages of its journey from raw material to the finished product, namely sanding, drilling and buffing. Not to worry. It’s just Amber showing it’s radiant, breathing side. If the Amber is extremely young, you can always utilize water on the sanding wheel to cool it down.
Natural Amber in any final form, i.e. Amber Necklaces
, Amber Bracelets
, statues, etc., should always be kept in a soft, lined container such as a wooden box or cloth bag when it is not being worn. This is both to protect the surface of the Baltic Amber as well as ensure that its natural homeopathic (healing) properties are preserved.
How to care for Baltic Amber Jewelry
Our very best regards and if you have any questions about Baltic Amber Jewelry please let us know.