Latest News

  • What’s the Future of Amber Raw Material?
    What’s the Future of Amber Raw Material?

    Contrary to expectations, the Amberif trade fair didn’t provide an answer to the question about the nearest future of the amber market. Though, the fair has shown that the market is really saturated both with the raw material and products.

  • Amber Trip 2015
    Amber Trip 2015

    Although there were visibly fewer buyers than last year at the Amber Trip in Vilnus, the event can boast a higher number of exhibitors and a larger exhibition area. 

  • Lithuania will start amber mining
    Lithuania will start amber mining

    This year, the largest international exhibition of amber and jewelry in Baltic countries Amber Trip 2015 has launched an exclusive event – a press conference on plans to mine Lithuanian amber, lying in the Curonian Lagoon beside Juodkrante.

  • The German Media Writing about Amber
    The German Media Writing about Amber

    An article about amber has been published in Goldschmiede Zeitung (GZ), a leading German monthly magazine for the jewellery and  watchmaking industry. The article mentions the Amberif trade fair, decreasing prices of the amber raw material, the Chinese market and modern Polish jewellery. 

  • Amber – a Year Later
    Amber – a Year Later

    In January 2014 the producers were paralysed by the prices of raw material going through the roof, as well as by the dramatic lack of the raw material. Today the prices have fallen by half, and there is a lot of raw material on the market, though its quality is not always good enough.

FAQ

What is Baltic Amber (succinite)?

Baltic amber (succinite) is a fossil resin created in natural conditions around 45 million years ago. Despite numerous processes the resin was subject to while turning into amber, it still remains in the process of fossilisation, i.e. the oxidation processes and polymerisation are ongoing. As this process is still in progress, and the amber keeps on changing, it can be assumed that the amber is a 'living' stone, which is also human friendly. Our ancestors were interested in amber and used it back in the thirteenth century B.C.

Amber, as the only fossil resin, contains between 3 and 8 per cent of amber acid – a substance with healing properties with a variety of effects. The majority of the acid is located in the bark, that is, in the surface layer.

More about: healing properties of Baltic amber

The genesis of Baltic amber

 

Where can Baltic Amber be Found?

The deposits of Baltic amber, which have been significant for the industry, can be found only in Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Germany. Therefore the names, such as Baltic amber, Ukrainian amber and Saxon amber (alternatively Bitterfeld amber) mean exactly the same type of amber and can be considered to be synonyms of the name succinite. The deposits of this type of amber are a part of the secondary deposits of aqueous origin. That means that before their final bailment they had been transported. In Poland, Baltic amber can be found in the deposits of the Baltic Gulf, in Sambia and at the bottom of Hel peninsula (they are the richest deposits of amber in the world), as well as in the Lublin area, and near Lubartow. Amber surges in the deposits from a few meters to about 150 meters in depth.

More about the amber (succinite) deposits

 

What are the Inclusions?

Amber often contains organic inclusions such as insects, arachnids, arthropods, small amphibians, plants remains, grains of sand, and gas bubbles. They are the source of knowledge about the time when amber was formed, the animals living close to resin trees, and the ones active in the time of the resin leakage. The inclusions make amber even more special!

 

What is Improved Amber?

Amber used in the contemporary jewellery making is very often improved. Improvement is a process conducted in autoclaves filled with neutral gas under high pressure and includes the clarification, hardening, and changing the colour. The process gives the possibility to achieve full transparency of the blocks, total fusion of the layers bits of amber, surface tinting and colour unifying. Improving amber also allows the production of fake inclusions. The insects, feathers, seashells,and parts of plants are placed between two parts of the block and when the process is complete there is no trace of joining it together.

More about amber improvement on: Amber Classification by the International Amber Makers Association

 

What is Compressed Amber?

Amber compressing is a means of joining small bits of amber, or amber powder, into bigger blocks under pressure. The final product is the amber material, whose structure may vary depending on the technology used. Back in the nineteenth century amber compressing methods were patented and named after the authors of the method: the Spiller's method and the Trebitsch's method. The technical and technological progress today is such that it allows to produce blocks of compressed amber that are very difficult to distinguish from the blocks of natural amber, especially when comparing natural and compressed amber products.

More on Baltic amber classification by the International Amber Makers Association

 

Imitations of Baltic Amber

Imitations of Baltic amber is a raw material, primary products, or products made of substitute, cheap material, whose appearance resembles amber, but have different chemical and physical properties. Nowadays, amber imitations are produced nearly all over the world. Some of them are deliberately artificially made of modern materials in a way that they look so similar to the real amber that they can be used as fake Baltic amber. Distinguishing fake Baltic amber is very difficult. The experts use their professional knowledge, years of experience alongside with information about the amber market and the imitations emerging on the market in order to distinguish fake Baltic amber.

More about imitations of Baltic amber

 

The Colours of Amber

One of the properties of Baltic Amber is the abundance of its varieties, greatly diverse in terms of amber transparency and its hues – from light yellow, through yellow hues to white, bluish, greenish, beige and brown. The variety of amber colours makes amber the material that is sought-after and valued - in the folk art and jewellery making.

Currently, quite often the attractive hues of amber are obtained in the technological processes. To emphasise or change the natural colour of amber it is acceptable to use the colour background from enamels and paints in the jewellery products decorated with Baltic amber (succinite) gemstones. This is the way to obtain the greenish hue of amber (which very rarely appears naturally) as well as the so-called cognac hue.

More about the varieties of Baltic amber

 

How to Buy Amber and Amber Products?

It is recommended that you buy amber jewellery from legal trade points exclusively. Having chosen a particular object, it has to be checked if it complete and undamaged, whether it has a label and is marked with hallmark image or whether it has the examination certificate. It is worth asking the seller if the amber has been subjected to treatment, if so, what kind of treatment it was, as well as whether the colour is natural. Some trade points have certificates issued by the Amber Chamber and International Association of Amber Makers, which are the warranty of quality and honesty. The receipt may be used for potential complaints. Also, each purchased item may be submitted to the local hall-mark institute in order to check whether the properties listed are in accordance with the real amount of precious metals.

Since August 2009 the amber market uses the 'Amber Passport'. It is an attractive edition of consumer guidebook, issued in Polish and English, about amber and amber jewellery. The rules and information in the publication are meant to prevent the consumers from buying fake amber or amber imitations, as well as to support the good trade practice in the shops and shopping galleries in Gdansk and the entire Tri-City.

Source: The Amber Passport

 

The Certificates

 

In Gdansk there are various trade organisations associating the amber companies and the fans of amber, such as the International Amber Makers Association, (MBS Quality Certificate http://www.amber.org.pl/index.php?p=pokaz&id_m=2&id_pm=0)) the Amberchamber and Gdansk Amber Centre. The above organisations issue special certificates to the companies they recommend, or they recomend the experts in the field of amber and amber jewellery evaluation and valuation. People interested in using the amber expert services are requested to contact the trade organisations.

Source: The Amber Passport

More information about the amber experts

 

How to Look after the Jewellery?

Amber jewellery offered on the market is made mainly of gold and silver. The higher the assay value of the metal, the less copper is added to the product, as a result the slower the surface darkens due to oxidation. Currently, the common silver assay is 925, and some amber gemstones are framed by silver of the assay 960 and 1000. The techniques of covering the surface of the product , although they are getting better and better, still only minimise the processes of oxidation, as its complete elimination is impossible.

Jewellery is usually exposed to such substances as, for instance, human sweat, detergents, perfume, air or light, which may lead to chemical reactions on the surface of the product, which in the worst case may even damage the gemstone. Amber jewellery should be carefully looked after, statring from the moment of exposing it at the jewellery shop. Longer eposure to halogen light in the show-cases may cause the opacity of the transparent amber (possibly even resulting in the total loss of colour), or may lead to the ageing effect in the case of unpolished amber (deep, dark yellow colour). Jewellery, both with or without amber, should be hadled with care. Touching jewellery is not good for it, as traces left by the touch keep on 'working' on the product surface later on. This is why the shop assistant should wear cotton gloves and present jewllery on a special, velvet tray, and always wipe the product once the customer has tried it on. It is also recommended to wipe the jewellery with special cleaning cloths, it is good to remember about it both at the jewellery shop and at home.

First of all, it is important to take care of the jewellery in order not destroy it, therefore it should be kept and used in the right way. A jewellery box, as well as special pouches made of delicate materials, can be good ways of storing jewellery. It is also good to rememeber that the products should not touch each other. In this way we can avoid scratching their surfaces or tangling their chains. Wearing jewellery while performing household chores is not a good idea, as the chemicals used have a negative influence on its appearance. Perfumes are yet another enemy of jewellery, their compounds may lead to chemical reactions both with gemstones and the materials the jewellery is made of, and as a result they may lead to permanent damage to the product. It is important to remember to take off the jewellery while doing housework, as well as before washing hands and not putting it on immediately after using the perfume, and wiping jewellery with a special cleaning cloth after each use. Incorrect or innapropriate usage may cause a change in the structure of the product, and then even with a warranty, we can forget about any repairs.

Source: Wlodzimierz Luks

The Manufacture of Amberware (The Museum of Amber)

 

How to Bring Back the Initial Shine?

Even careful looking after the jewellery will not prevent it from the need of cleaning, although it will significantly delay the process.

Domestic Ways of Cleaning Jewellery

Some of the older ways of cleaning jewellery, especially the ones using toothpaste and other detergents terrify the experts today. This certainly is not the way to bring back the shine to our jewellery, but we can make it look much worse.

The easiest , but very effective, domestic way to clean jewellery is to soak it in warm water with a drop of washing-up liquid – this way we can wash off the dirt and dust from the surface. The jewellery should be then wiped dry with a paper towel or a tissue. Soft toothbrush can also be used to make the cleaning easier.

 

Professional Ways of Cleaning Jewellery

Unfortunatelly, not all the jewellery can be cleaned at home. Some of its parts should avoid contact with water (straps, thong, felt, etc.). Sometimes the soiling can be so strong or hidden in the nooks that the professional cleaning is necessary. At the professional jeweller's our jewellery can be taken apart, if need be, then it will be professionally cleaned, manually or with the use of special machines, polished and, if necessary, the surface will be protected.

Source: Wlodzimierz Luks

The Manufacture of Amberware (The Museum of Amber)

The Manufacture provides a professional jewellery cleaning service.