When it comes to cheap alternatives to expensive precious gemstones like diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies, most people choose amber. We’ve already talked about amber before, we talked about it’s history and how it was formed many millions of years before, but one thing that we didn’t mention is how to take care of jewelry which contains amber. If you own amber jewelery you undoubtedly know how soft it is, and how easy it is to cause damage to this semi precious stone, so it’s very important that you learn what should and what shouldn’t be done with amber, so that it may last you a long time.
The main killer of amber based jewelry is heath, as you may remember from our previous article on amber, this particular gemstone is of organic nature, it’s created from tree resin, fossilized tree resin. This makes amber part of the organic gemstones family, alongside gemstones such as pearls. Heath and high pressures are what’s responsible for amber in the first place, and they were a beneficial force once the stone was being formed, but now that the stone is “done”, it would be a good thing to keep it away from extreme heath because anything above 120°F will start turning amber into a liquid. Melting down of small amber stones is being practiced by a lot of amber manufacturers since it’s very difficult to find large pieces in the nature. A lot of small pieces are fussed together in order to form larger ones, which are needed in some cases, for certain types of jewelry.
Another dangerous thing that is done to amber is exposure to various cleaning agents and cleaning methods that its bigger brothers diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires can take. Same is true for not just these two things, but also for any kind of detergent, soaps and everything else that precious gemstone are normally cleaned with. Since amber is a very fragile compound, all of these things could cause damage to it’s appearance, cause it to loose its shine and sparkle or even worse. Perfumes, sprays and deodorants, if they find their way on amber, whether intentionally or by accident, can cause possibly permanent whitish layer on the stone. For cleaning of amber it’s best that you use lukewarm water with a soft cloth in order to prevent scraping. Remember, lukewarm water, do not play with very hot water because it may cause disfigurement. Popular way of cleaning jewelery these days are ultrasonic cleaners, now the usage of ultrasonic cleaners on diamonds isn’t very much so advisable because of the possibility of the stone shattering or cracks appearing alongside the surface. Same is true for amber, it’s not an exception, even though amber is soft, it’s still possible for a ultrasonic cleaner to cause damage so avoid them at all costs when it comes to amber, not just amber pretty much and jewelery that has set gemstones.
Sometimes people forget or just don’t know about amber jewelry and it ends up stored or just left near sources of extreme heath and in such situations you can say goodbye to amber set jewelry as you know it, because what you’ll get back when you return will be something disfigured. I hope that I won’t have to talk about the usual threats to jewelry and on avoiding the necessity to wear it, like working with amber jewelery, doing gardening and so on. Something like that should be obvious to everyone, but if it’s not, don’t do it. It’s OK to wear your jewelery if you are working indoor, somewhere in a cosy office, but if you are working outside then it can harmful for your jewelry, this is especially true if your are participating in hard manual labor. These are the big issues that can be harmful for your amber, so avoid them as best as you can and it’ll last a long time.