amber

Amber

Amber is an organic gemstone, forming from the hardened resin of ancient pine trees. The hardening process of Amber is known as polymerization, which fossilizes the resin over many centuries and makes it hard and sturdy. Amber is formed from viscous, sticky resin, and therefore commonly contains inclusions that got stuck in the Amber and remained there when it hardened. These inclusions are usually of insects or plants, with the most well-known being mosquitoes. Amber with well-preserved organisms frozen internally are highly prized.

Stock Sizes: Cabochon only
Round Cabochon: 3mm – 30mm
Oval Cabochon: 5x4mm – 40x30mm
Marquise Cabochon: 6×3 – 16x8mm
Pear Cabochon: 6x4mm – 20x15mm
Trillion Cabochon: 6mm – 20mm
Heart Cabochon: 15mm
Square Cabochon: 4mm – 20mm
Rectangle Cabochon: 6x4mm – 20x15mm

A selection of free form pieces are available

Chemical Formula: Amber is composed of complex organic material without any definitive chemical formula. Its inherent substance can also vary depending on its origination. (C10H16O)
Crystal Structure: Amorphous
Colour: Golden Yellow, Green, Green Yellow, Brownish, Red, Orange, Blue
Hardness: 2.0 – 2.5 on Moh`s scale
Refractive Index: 1.540
Specific Gravity: 1.08
Cleavage: None

Treatments: Amber is sometimes heat-treated or surface dyed. Heat treatments deepen the colour and surface dying is used to add or even change colour. Some Amber gemstones are formed from fusing smaller Amber pieces together by heating and oiling them together. The luster of some Amber pieces is sometimes enhanced with an oil bath or synthetic lubricant.

When amber is submerged in hot oil it’s inherent body colour can darken, and the material can take on a clearer appearance. The hot oil can also cause the material to develop a series of spangled, glittery inclusions.
Amber is generally natural, and not usually treated. However, some Amber gemstones are formed from fusing smaller Amber pieces together by heating and oiling them together. These stones are sometimes called Amberoid or Pressed Amber. The luster of some Amber pieces is sometimes enhanced with an oil bath or synthetic lubricant.

Care: Amber is very sensitive to acids, caustic solutions, alcohol and perfumes. Amber can easily burn and release a smoky incense-like odour. Amber should only be wiped using a soft cloth. Ultrasonic cleaners should never be used to clean amber stones or amber jewellery. Soaking amber stones for extended periods of time is not recommended; prolonged exposure to water can ruin the polish.