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About Baltic Amber & Vessel International Amber Jewelry

About Baltic Amber:

Natural and Rare Baltic Amber Colors are one of the most fascinating aspects of Baltic amber as are the insect, flora, and fauna inclusions which makes each piece unique. With it's wide color spectrum the gem naturally occurs in 250 colors. WOW! This spectrum in amber jewelry complements almost any color of clothing. Descriptive terms to name the colors of amber came from the antique trade. Picturesque names such as "goose fat," "egg yolk," and "cherry" were based on transparency and color. Other descriptive words include: "banana," "ivory," "milky," "lemon," "sunny," "custard," "honey," "cognac," "molasses," "greenish," "orange," "brown," and "black." The rarest colors of natural amber are blue, green, white, and "kumst" (sauerkraut color). Jewelers in the Polish amber industry have over 200 names for their national gem.

What determines the natural color of Baltic amber? The two factors are:
1. The microscopic bubble inclusions of gas within the gemstone.
2. The tree source.
The gas bubbles vary in size and quantity within each piece. In the space between these bubbles, the resin is clear. The bubble inclusions actually interfere with the passage of light through the amber. This interference results in the dilution and variations in color and turbidity (opaqueness). Studies have shown that a comparison between the colors of fossil resin and recent resin suggests that certain colors come from certain tree sources.

Amber Jewelry Colors - Cherry, Cream, Green & Honey

As with most gems, enhancement techniques are used to enliven and brighten the stone or enhance the Amber colors. As far back as the first century, it was known that cloudy amber could be clarified by boiling the gem in the fat of a suckling pig. Later, it was discovered that other oils could be used, the most common being rapeseed oil. The refractive index of rapeseed oil is the closest to that of amber. The amber is immersed in an iron pot of rapeseed oil and slowly heated to the point of boiling. The microscopic air bubbles then become filled with the oil. This makes the amber transparent, as the light is able to travel through the gem without interference. The small circular fissures in the amber are encapsulated water droplets that flatten to disk-like shapes when the amber is boiled. These disks are commonly referred to as "sun spangles" or "fish scales." The amber must then be cooled very slowly or it could fracture easily. Milky, creamy, and lemon amber are examples of natural colors which have not been heated. Cherry, Honey & Green are all colors that are developed thru heating or natural enhancements - heated amber is still considered gem quality. Whatever amber color is your favorite—enjoy its special qualities because no two pieces are exactly alike! .

About Vessel International Amber Jewelry:

All our Amber Jewelry is purchased from Vessel International and is Guaranteed Gem Quality Baltic Amber and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity! Vessel International is recommended by the International Amber Association and carries its seal of approval on all their amber jewelry. The Association, which was formed in 1996, brings together miners, traders, scientists, jewelry designers, collectors, and all those interested parties connected to the amber industry. International Amber Association Logo

The aim of the International Amber Association is threefold: To promote Baltic amber worldwide, spreadingknowledge about its unique values in the fields of beauty, healing, science, and culture. To protect against forgeries. To develop trading policies. As a member of the International Amber Association, Vessel International is required to uphold the highest standards in the amber industry.

Vessel guarantees that all of its amber products are solely of succinite (Baltic amber). It never sells surrogates of pressed amber or synthetic resins; its jewelry is set in precious metals and their alloys; and it observes the rules of fair trade. All of Vessel's jewelry is checked for quality before leaving Poland, and then re-checked once it arrives in the U.S. They guarantee that the amber is Baltic in origin and first quality, gem quality. Workmanship is guaranteed for one year with normal "wear-and-tear" and each piece of Amber Jewelry we sell comes with their Certificate of Authenticity.
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