Amber is the fossilized resin of a tree that has undergone great amount of petrifaction and other chemical processes through the years. It is the very fluid that once flowed inside the tree and as the liquid drained out, the solid minerals that were suspended in the liquid crystallized through time. Amber looks like a gemstone commonly found in jewelry boxes but what sets it apart are the inclusions within the gem. Since amber is once part of a tree, it is not uncommon to find insects trapped inside it. In fact, the movie Jurassic Park even featured a mosquito preserved inside an amber stone as the source of dinosaur DNA, which scientists used as precursor for an entire array of dinosaurs.
Amber also makes for excellent jewelry pieces. Because they have a similar characteristic of translucency with other gemstones, they allow the light in and reflect it back out. While impurities are generally frowned upon with other gemstones, the impurities are the things that give the amber stone its character and uniqueness. Those with inclusions such as leaves, insects and other organic material cost more than those that don’t feature any critter.
Here’s how you can create your own amber jewelry.
- Decide on the type of jewelry you want to make. You may use amber for different kinds of jewelry such as bracelets, earrings, pendants or even rings. Try to estimate how big you want the amber stone to be. This should help you when you’re selecting your amber piece.
- Source your amber. Amber is most common in areas in Eastern Europe. You would probably get the best prices there. If you don’t have the time for that kind of jewelry shopping, you can always go online and look at the wares at Amberica West. This website offers amber stone pieces at very reasonable prices, and each stone is carefully photographed and described, including its color and inclusions. It’s probably the second best thing to having the stone itself on hand and examining it for yourself.
- Mount or attach the amber. Once you have your amber piece, you have to make a decision on whether you want to drill into the stone to create a hole for the wire or you want to encase it with a wire mesh or leather cradle. It can be a bit unnerving to drill into an amber stone, since such physical manipulation can cause the stone to fracture along cleavage lines.
- Add your adornments to the final piece. You may use glass beads or other ethnic elements. These could be easily procured from online jewelry or crafts stores. Be sure to use adornments that will make the piece of amber stand out, and not drowned out. Since amber is usually yellow to brownish in color, use colors that complement this well.
The great thing with amber jewelry is its novelty. Because of the inclusions found inside amber, it can be a great conversation piece, and a good gift to give for any occasion or even one to make for yourself.