Amber is a rare and unusual substance. Put simply, amber is a fossilized tree resin or sap. Ancient forests were believed to be very dense and only the strongest trees would survive. If a tree were wounded it would produce healing resin or sap in great quantities. The pinus succinifera or "Amber Pine" as it was commonly called, was one of these trees. Through the passage of time, this sap hardened and fossilized. Amber may be found in several different colours, from creamy yellows and oranges to rich reds and browns. Amber may be found with pine needles, oak buds, leaves and sunspangles (inclusions caused by heat which resemble fish scales). Amber is estimated from 20 million to 200 million years old - most amber is around 50 million years old.
Amber cameos are beautiful artist pieces, with a stunning design carved into the back of the amber stone. Amber cameos are named after the classic brooch design, which will feature the carved profile of a woman overlaid on a plain surface, usually pale pink or black or sometimes over a natural gemstone. In amber, the practice of carving a cameo into the back of the stone is reminiscent of this past trade, but brings a more modern smooth finish to the piece.
Most amber cameos are carved by a laser. Amber is very delicate, and heat sensitive, stone, so this process can be very difficult. A design is uploaded into a computer, and the laser will recreate this on the back of the amber, in reverse so that the cameo turns out correctly. Sometimes the amber will also be treated with different coloured finishes at the end to create cameos with different depth of colors. This is commonly seen in our butterfly designs, where the patterns on each wing will boast different colours, such as brown and black.
Perhaps most interesting are the cameos that are hand-carved by artists. We source a small assortment of our amber cameos from an artist called Irena, and we are fortunate to be able to watch her carve her designs with a dremel tool. This work takes a great deal of skill and practice to perfect. A lot of work goes into creating each stunning design. Hand-carved cameos by Irena will either be stamped in the silverwork with initials I.W or this will be carved into the amber's surface along the edges.
Ancient people believed amber was solidified sunshine or the petrified tears of god. Many today believe amber is a powerful healer that relieves pain and stress. Amber may help cleanse your spirit, clear your mind, stimulate the intellect and absorb negative energy. Whatever your beliefs, may you enjoy your amber cameo.
- Set in sterling silver.
- Amber with setting: 29 mm x 23 mm x 9 mm
- Bail length: 11 mm
- Features a genuine stone.
- This item includes an information card about the stone.
- A certificate of authenticity is included with this item.
This stone requires special care - exposure to water and other chemicals, such as lotions or perfumes, will damage it over time. If you polish the jewellery, avoid polishing the stone itself. A silver-cleaning dip should never be used with this piece.
*Sterling silver chain is not included. It is available for purchase here.