Embers of Amber

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Last updated on March 16, 2011
To find and revere the Simple, Elegant and Beautiful in life.


Peace! I am a `gaijin` (foreigner) stay-at-home-mom of two young children from Japan.

I simply love amber (and jadeite/nephrite) and am a committed enthusiast. I have such a fascination with all kinds of amber jewellery – in particular, one-of-a-kinds designs – that I am always looking for ways to promote its beauty and uniqueness to others.

Here you will find amber and other jewellery, handcrafted by me, as a way of sharing the beauty of amber with others.

All the ambers in my creations are real, natural amber, and not reconstituted/pressed/synthetic ambers. They are especially chosen to highlight the distinctive splendour and earthy nature of amber.

Aside from amber, I also use semi-precious/coloured stones (I do love all those gorgeous coloured stones/gemstones), Swarovski crystals, artisan lampwork beads and others in my designs. The components used in my items include copper, sterling, Bali, Tribe, fine and/or Argentium silver (Argentium silver is tarnish-resistant).

In addition to handcrafted jewellery, you will also find some supply of Japanese craft items and miscellany. I am enamoured with anything of aesthetic value and Japan has a lot to offer in terms of elegance, simplicity and beauty – even with all those unbecoming modern contraptions and buildings dotting the Japanese landscape.

For those interested, I welcome the opportunity to trade/barter.

I have now reactivated my long dormant blog. If you are interested, please give me a visit at: http://mindisthebeginning.blogspot.com/

Introduction to Amber

Amber is the fossilised resin of ancient trees which was formed through natural polymerisation of the original organic compounds. Major sources of amber include the Baltic States, the Dominican Republic, Chiapas, Mexico, Burma and a few other countries. Each amber source produces amber which is different – in terms of age and properties – and can usually be dated from 20 million to more than 100 million years. Young resin – ranging from a few hundred to 33,000 years old – is commonly known as copal.

Amber, in all its varieties, offers a wide range of colours and sizes for all imaginations, desires and palates. Amber comes in shades of cognac, honey, cherry, green, red, blue, orange, champagne, lemon, white/mat, milky, butterscotch and all other imaginable hues in between. Amber brings to mind the sun, autumn, the forest, the sea, the earth, sunsets and all things natural and nature-created.

A gemstone steeped in myths and history, amber has long been used for adornment, healing, ritual, to signify social status, decoration and as gifts. It is widely acknowledged to be one of the oldest semi-precious material used for human adornment. In more current times, amber has also been used for scientific studies as they are a great repository of flora and fauna (predominantly insects) specimens from prehistoric eras.

Amber, not only having taken different paths during its formation, is also composed of different combinations of plant materials and fossil inclusions, contributing to its characteristic individuality. As science has yet to replicate the chemical signature of amber in the laboratory, amber retains not only beauty, but also a bit of mystery.

(Note: For more information about amber, do visit echoesinamber here at Etsy) 

Caring for amber

Your new amber is a living gemstone. It is still interacting with the environment. Unlike other gemstones, the colour of amber may change over time — this is to be expected & contributes to the distinctive, intensely unique nature of amber. No one piece of amber is the same, and each ages differently.

Amber may be durable enough to withstand millennia, but it is also fragile.

However, caring for amber jewellery is easy.

Avoid allowing amber to come into contact with hard surfaces. Amber is brittle, and might be chipped if it comes into sharp contact with anything hard. For example, the owner should gently set it down on a dressing table rather than casually tossing it.

As carved pieces, cameos & intaglio jewellery forms are especially fragile, the owner should be more mindful when handling these types of designs. Having said that, there is no need to feel anxious when handling them, as amber cameos are typically passed down in families as heirlooms; just be a little more careful.

With amber being the softest and lightest of all gems, it may easily be scratched. Hence, extra care should be afforded amber jewellery to avoid marred surfaces.

Try to keep amber away from hairsprays, perfumes, soaps, detergents, solvents (including chlorinated water) and even commercial jewellery cleaning solutions. One can still use perfume or hairspray when wearing amber, just that ideally, perfume or hairspray should be applied before putting on the amber jewelry, and this applies not only to amber. However, with amber, the compounds in the above mentioned products will chemically bond with amber and become permanent, resulting in a coat of dull whitish film on the amber.

As noted above, amber is alive, and being porous, still interacts with the environment and be changed by it.

Also, try to keep amber away from common kitchen substances such as salad oil, lard, butter and the excessive heat of ovens and stoves. Avoid exposure to sudden changes of temperature.

Remember never to wear jewellery you value while doing strenuous, physical activity (e.g. gardening).

When not wearing you amber, it is best to wrap and store your jewellery away from direct sunlight or heat – inside a pouch or jewellery box with padded lining. Try not to store amber jewellery where it can rub against metal or other jewellery. With bead necklaces, one should hang these to help retain drape and avoid tangling when not wearing.

Remove dust and perspiration with clean, lukewarm (never hot!) water and a soft flannel cloth. If you find that luster is ever a concern, simply apply a tiny drop of olive oil and rub lightly with a soft flannel cloth. Never use ultra-sonic cleaners with amber jewellery.
Sterling silver is the traditional metal paired with amber. Sterling silver will tarnish with time, and moist environments or salt air may hasten the process of tarnishing. When the silver tarnishes, simply rub it with a silver polishing cloth. With Argentium silver, which is tarnish-resistant, tarnishing will still occur, but rarely. If it does, polish it with a silver polishing cloth.

Amber has retained its beauty for millions of years, and it will continue reward you with a lifetime of wonder and service if you follow the simple guidelines outlined above. By taking the necessary precautions, your amber jewellery will stay just as beautiful as it did the day you see it for the first time.

Accepted payment methods

Returns and exchanges
Your satisfaction is my number one priority, and if you are not satisfied with the item, I will gladly accept returns for a full refund within 7 days of receipt. Kindly convo/e-mail me if you would like to return your purchased item. Shipping cost (to and fro) is not refunded.
PayPal only, please. I expect payment within 3 days of purchase. Please inform me if you are not making immediate payment. After 3 days, the order will be cancelled.

Items will be shipped after payment has cleared.

Kindly convo/e-mail me if you would like to cancel an order. Thank you.
Item shipping from: Japan

I use regular Airmail (without insurance) for my shipping, so if you require alternative shipping methods, do let me know. I will use registered mail for higher priced items.

Any gross overcharge of the shipping and handling cost - more than USD 1 - will be refunded.

Seller does not take responsibility for items lost/misplaced during transit. However, in the event of any missing items, do kindly inform me.

I ship once a week. Transit time might take between 7 to 21 days. If your item did not arrive within a month, do kindly inform me.

If your Etsy address and Paypal address are different, kindly indicate in the Message to Seller to which address you would like your item/s shipped. If no message is received, the item/s will be sent to the Etsy address.
Additional policies and FAQs
Gift-wrapping is available with a small extra charge of USD 1. Kindly inform me through e-mail/convo if gift-wrapping is required.