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Guidelines to help keep your new amber in the best condition.
Your new amber is alive. The stones are still breathing & interacting with the environment. The color may change over time--this is expected & contributes to the unique, intensely individual nature of amber. Each piece of amber ages differently. Each is composed of different combinations of plant materials & fossil inclusions. Science has yet to replicate the chemical signature of amber in the laboratory, so amber retains not only beauty, but also a bit of mystery.
People have always desired & worn amber jewelry. It is widely claimed to be the very oldest semi-precious material used for human adornment. It was worn for many reasons--for protection, for beauty, to signify tribal affiliation & frequently, given as a gift with a personal meaning. Just as it is today.
While amber is durable enough to withstand millenia--it is also fragile.
Even so, caring for amber jewelry couldn't be easier.
Because amber is brittle, the owner should avoid allowing it to come into sharp contact with hard surfaces. For example, the owner should take an extra moment to set it down on a dressing table rather than casually tossing it.
This is especially true for carved pieces, cameos & intaglio jewelry forms, so the owner should be extra mindful when handling these types of designs.
That said, amber cameos are typically passed down in families as heirlooms, so there is no need to feel anxious when handling them, just be a little careful.
Amber is also soft & as such, may easily be scratched. It is the softest & lightest of all gems.
Try to keep your amber away from solvents (including chlorinated water), hairspray & perfumes. This doesn't mean one shouldn't use perfume or hairspray if wearing amber. It's just that ideally, one would use these first before putting on any jewelry, not just amber. But specifically regarding amber--this is so the piece doesn't become coated with a dull whitish film, which may then chemically bond & become permanent. As noted above, your amber really is alive, it is porous & it really is still interacting with the environment.
When not wearing, it is always best to wrap & store amber jewelry away from direct sunlight--inside a pouch or jewelry box. With bead necklaces, one should hang these when not wearing to help retain drape & avoid tangling.
If luster is ever a concern, simply apply a tiny drop of olive oil & rub with soft flannel. "Less is more" with the olive oil.
Sterling silver is the traditional metal paired with Baltic amber. Since the late 90s, Polish sterling silver has by law contained special anti-tarnish agents. So it should rarely tarnish. (Moist environments or salt air may hasten the process.)
If it does tarnish, simply rub it with a silver polishing cloth. These are widely available in shops for just a few dollars & seem to last forever. You will find these handy for keeping all your sterling silver jewelry bright & gleaming. It's also kind of fun & magical to just wipe away the tarnish & see the gleaming metal with so little effort.
If you follow these easy guidelines, your amber jewelry will reward you with a lifetime of service & wonder. It will stay just as beautiful as it is the day you open the box & see it for the first time.