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Amber Earrings Information

Updated on June 7, 2013

Amber is prized the world over. In cultures and communities around the globe, this natural material is used to make some of the finest and most beautiful jewelry that can be made. Artisans and craftspeople use amber to fashion the loveliest of necklaces, rings, cufflinks, brooches, and of course the beautiful and charming amber earrings. Women have worn these amber earrings for centuries, even millennia, for their charm, fashion, and exquisite loveliness. No jewelry box is really complete without at least one pair of these gorgeous amber earrings.

Below you will find some interesting facts about amber, how it is collected and fashioned into earrings, and even how you can tell if you have genuine amber earrings or jewelry that has been fashioned from plastic resin to resemble genuine amber.

Dried resin.  To think, in 20 million years, this will turn into amber, and then you can have amber earrings!
Dried resin. To think, in 20 million years, this will turn into amber, and then you can have amber earrings!

About Amber and Amber Earrings

Most of us associate amber with the golden or honey colored resin that is commonly made into rings, necklaces, and earrings. But although this is the most common color for amber, it also comes in a variety of other colors, some of them fairly common and some of them extremely rare. Amber that is made into earrings is at times seen in white, a pale lemon shade, brown, and even at times black. The rarest of all amber colors is that of blue amber, which comes from the mountains of the Dominican Republic. Blue amber is in fact white in color under indoor lighting, but when struck by sunlight, the light is reflected back as a lovely pale blue. Other less common colors for amber are red or cherry amber and green amber.

The amber that is fashioned into earrings and other jewelry comes from two principle world regions. These include the Dominican amber, some of which produces the elegant and rare blue amber discussed above, and the Baltic amber. Baltic amber is the most common type of amber used for earrings, and most of this amber comes from Russia on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Amber is either mined from the ground in these two world locations or is found on or near the shore of the Baltic Sea and collected by hand or through diving or dredging.

Amber consists of fossilized resin that comes from ancient stands of pine and other types of trees. Over time, the resin is compressed and hardens to form the nodules of golden or other colored pieces that is fashioned into jewelry such as amber earrings. These nodules often have to be separated from the dirt and minerals that surround it by tumbling it in barrels of water and sand. Less expensive amber earrings is sometimes made by fusing many small pieces of amber together through a process of heating the amber and then treating it with high pressures.

Determining Genuine and Counterfeit Amber Earrings

When amber earrings are available for purchase at very low cost, you might consider that this amber is artificial, or counterfeit. Counterfeit amber is actually made from plastic resin and thus is worth considerably less than genuine amber. One tell tale sign of counterfeit amber occurs when insects that presumably were caught in the tree resin when it was first extruded by the tree seem too perfect or perfectly placed in the center of the amber bead. If an ant, spider, or other organism seems too conveniently located in the amber, you may want to suspect it of being made from plastic resin.

One test for plastic resin is to heat a pin to a high temperature and then set the point against an inconspicuous spot on the amber bead. Genuine amber will give off a highly distinguishable scent of tree resin that will have an incense like odor. However, some unscrupulous amber earring dealers might coat the plastic bead with a thin layer of real amber to thwart this test. Thus, you should buy your amber earrings from a reputable jewelry store or dealer.

Amber Earrings for Beauty and Style

The amber beads that are fashioned into earrings by skilled craftspeople have been around for tens of thousands of years. Sometimes these tiny golden gems contain the bodies of insects that were trapped in the amber when it dripped from an ancient tree, caught for all those years in its honey colored trap. Amber then is a timeless jewel and one that will not go out of style this year, the next, or in a hundred years. You can wear your amber earrings on almost any occasion and bring a dash of charm, style, and beauty to your party.

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