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FAQs

What is Amber?

AMBER is a hard fossil of resin produced by extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in color. Although not a mineral, it is generally classified as a gemstone.

The most common misconception is that Amber is made of tree sap. Sap is like the blood of plants, made mostly of water (absorbed from the roots), sugar and minerals, while resin acts like a special blood component, much like clotting factors in the human blood. Resin is semi-solid amorphous substance, secreted in pockets and canals as it builds to seal holes in the tree.

What is Amber Inclusion?

Because it originates as a soft, sticky substance (resin), amber sometimes contains animal and plant material as inclusions. As resin flows fulfilling its role in protecting the plant, other life is captured including microscopic bacteria that often produce gas bubbles, and various fungi.

How old is amber?

Baltic amber is 44 million years old. In comparison, Bitterfield amber is 7 million years old, Dominican and Mexican ambers – 54 million years old, while the oldest kinds of amber (found in Canada, France, Lebanon, New Jersey and Siberia) are over a 100 million years old.

What is a Baltic Amber Baby Teething Necklace? It is a necklace that soothes the aches of teething in babies and toddlers. It is meant for wearing and not chewing.

Are Baltic Amber Baby Teething necklaces safe? Yes. Baby teething necklaces are made with tension release clasps which break if being pulled with force. Amber beads are knotted from both sides, so if the necklaces breaks, only one or two beads will be loose. However, children should be supervised at all times when wearing jewelry, and it should be removed when child is sleeping or unattended.

Can adults benefit from wearing Baltic Amber jewelry too? Oh, yes!

How should I wear Baltic Amber Jewelry? You will benefit the most if making sure that the amber touches part of your body consistently. Amber is electromagnetically alive and produces significant amount of organic pure natural energy.

What are the health benefits of Wearing amber? Baltic amber is known for multiple health benefits, mostly its anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties. It is used to minimize headaches, toothaches, arthritic and rheumatic pains, improve thyroid functions and fight insomnia.

Ok, but is it just some hippie stuff?

It depends. On many levels amber healing properties are purely energetic, just like any other healing crystal or gem, and has little scientific proof to it. Yet in practice people have experienced multiple health benefits of wearing amber for hundreds of thousands of years. Nowadays contemporary parents swear on benefits of Baby Teething necklaces or even their own headaches being cured simply by wearing amber. We’ve heard so many people saying “Maybe it is placebo, but it definitely works for me!”

However, Baltic Amber contains high amounts of succinic acid which is believed to have analgesic properties and is used in cosmetics.

What does science have to say about health benefits of amber?

In a nut shell, scientific explanation of health benefits of wearing amber goes like this:

·         Amber contains succinic acid (also known as 1,4-butanedioic acid).

·         Baltic amber has the highest amounts of succinic acid of all kinds of amber (containing anything between 3 to 8 %); Baltic amber is also known as succinite.

·         Succinic acid is widely claimed to have analgesic properties.

·         Amber beads, when warmed by body heat, release tiny amounts of oils containing succinic acid, which passes trans-dermally in to the blood stream and acts as a painkiller.

·         Succinic acid is also found naturally in the body as an intermediate in the all-important Krebs cycle; altering the levels in the body could therefore have potential physiologic effects.

What is Succinic Acid? Succinic acid also historically known as spirit of amber, is a white, odorless solid. Succinate plays a role in the citric acid cycle, an energy-yielding process. The name is derived from Latin succinum, meaning amber, from which the acid may be obtained. The only class of amber is Ia, commonly known as Baltic Amber which yields on dry distillation succinic acid, the proportion varying from about 3% to 8%. 

As a cosmetic ingredient succinic acid increases cellular respiration. It helps cells, tissues, and organs to absorb oxygen. Thereby it reduces free radicals and has a strong antioxidant effect. 

What do the skeptics have to say?

·         There is no evidence that succinic acid is released from amber on contact, or that warming it to body temperature would facilitate this. Succinic acid melts at 368 F, while body temperature (about 98.6 F) is insufficient to melt it. (However, there is a chance it could be dissolved by sweat.)

·         There is no evidence that succinic acid is released from amber on contact, or that warming it to body temperature would facilitate this. If it was released, there is similarly no evidence for transdermal absorption. 

·         Though Baltic amber does contain succinic acid, there is no solid scientific evidence that it has analgesic effects at any dose.

 

Amber in cosmetics? I never heard about it before.

Chemically processed amber is divided in to different particles on a molecular level. The two useful by-products of processing amber are: succinic acid (or ground amber powder) and amber oil. Both of them containing antioxidant properties are successfully incorporated into a range of skincare and hair care products.

What is Amber Oil?

The Amber Oil is extracted from a process called dry distillation whereby amber melts in high temperature. Condensed gasses get separated from the dark brown liquid substance, which later is segregated in to essential oil and succinic acid. Just like any other essential oils, amber oil too is soluble with other fatty oils, but not with water.

Is wearing amber jewelry a trend?

Yes! Recently wearing amber jewelry, especially Baby Teething Necklaces, became a hallmark of alternative health oriented people.

Is it a new trend?

No. In fact, amber is widely claimed to be the oldest semi-precious material used for human adornment. In prehistoric times Baltic amber, also known as the “the gold of the north” was used for both, health and decorative purposes all across Europe and all the way to ancient Syria and Egypt.

How to care for your amber jewelry?

·         Protect it from chemicals (make-up, hairspray, etc.)

·         Clean it with a very soft cloth dampened with lukewarm water

·         It can be brittle. Protect larger pieces of amber from falling as it can crack or break

·         It should not be kept with other jewelry where it can rub against other pieces, especially metals

What are possible colors of real amber?

YELLOW. 70% of amber comes in different tones of yellow, varying from beige to dark orange (yellow tones of amber are often labelled: white, honey, transparent honey, cognac and etc.)

GREEN. Aka olive amber, quite rare to find.

RED. Aka cherry amber

BLUE.  It is the rarest shade of amber found and due to this it is valued very highly.

BLACK.  15% of naturally found amber comes in black, mostly because in prehistoric the resin got mixed with soil.

*No, we don’t sell blue amber. Not yet :) 

*And yes, despite the color the healing potency of amber remains the same. It is the chemical constituents that matter, especially when processing amber acid and oils.  Baltic amber (which varies in colors) has the highest amounts of succinic acid.

 

How to tell real from fake?

*You are very unlikely to come across fake amber jewelry if you shopping within a price range of tens dollars. The truth is, falsification is not worth the effort, unless you are after the large amber chunks with inclusions, and we are talking about three or four digit figures.

But just in case, if you feel suspicious here are a few tests to tell real amber from fake:

 

Hot needle test:

Heat a needle point in a flame until glowing red and then push the point into the sample of amber for testing. With copal the needle melts the material quicker than amber and emits a light fragrant odor. Amber does not melt as quickly as the copal and emits sooty fumes.

Acetone test:

Copal will dissolve in acetone. Put a few drops of acetone onto a clean surface of the test piece. Allow it to evaporate, then place a couple more drops on the same area. Copal will become tacky, amber will remain unaffected by contact with acetone.

UV light test:

Amber fluoresces a pale shade of blue, copal has no color change.

 

Salt water test:

Dissolve 1 oz. of table salt in a cup of luke warm water. Amber should float in it, while most kinds of copal and plastic would sink.

 

Electric test:

Rub the testing piece vigorously on a soft cloth. Genuine amber will become heavily charged with static electricity and will easily pick up small pieces of loose paper.