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Tips 10 Jun 2018

Facts and myths- amber colour, or what?

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Facts and myths - amber color, in fact what?

Amber is the source of many mysteries and curiosities, concealing the history of our planet, which is why many myths and stereotypes surround this mineral. A special interest in the ore results not only from its history, but also from its unique appearance. For centuries fascinated by collectors and enjoys the eyes of enthusiasts around the world.

Amber color - but what is the color? I often hear that light brown, reddish, orange. The latter may, however, be more like a tea color, which corresponds to the cognac amber. Light-yellow, sunny, which sometimes takes on a more yellow-white color, is also well-known. Then we are dealing with milk amber. The difficulty in assessing and precisely defining the colors of amber results from the variety of this raw material. This stone can take on such colors as: cherry, green or blue and have different physical and chemical properties. Among these minerals can be found various stones of different transparency, different diameter of gas bubbles embedded in them, or different degree of weathering. Regardless of whether they are naturally shaped or expressed by the modernity and craftsmanship of the artist modifying this mineral, they are a kind of unique and rare.

To discuss the main color varieties of amber, it should be noted that the most common, and at the same time popular, color of Baltic amber is the cognac shade. It is a natural color, which in ancient times was the dominant raw material from other minerals. However, it can be regularly varied by artists. Today, cognac amber is often beautified by characteristic "scales", they are obtained in an autoclave during the heating process in the presence of gas, and then rapid cooling, as a result of which inside the cracks and scales will appear.

The natural shade is also a milky shade. It occurs practically in the whole range of tones - from white to yellow. The color results from differences in the internal structure of the mineral. Generally speaking, amber can occur in a transparent and opaque variety, which is determined by the presence of gas bubbles and their quantity. The transparent form is characterized by a lack of bubbles structure. Among the representatives of this variety, we find the so-called "trinket", honey amber, possibly with "cloud". Opaque variants, on the other hand, are characterized by the presence of gas bubbles in the structure. Those with more bubbles, about 900,000 bubbles per 1mm2 of amber, are white. The internal structure of such a stone obtains the character of foam, which creates a natural milk color, while it is still quite transparent and unmerged. With 25,000 bubbles on the 1mm2 surface, opaque yellow amber is formed.

Amber is an extraordinary and unusual color of amber. In this color, both natural and man-made ambers may be present. The natural green shade is the result of contamination of the mineral with plant detritus, called natural amber. There are numerous gas bubbles formed during the process of putrefaction of plants, and the color is earthy and greenish. This "nice" green color is the effect of modification by means of an autoclave or undercoat from the bottom with black paint.
Red, cherry or black amber are not natural but modified colors. They are obtained in an autoclave under the influence of high temperature and pressure in the presence of inhibitors. The exact process of obtaining them is unknown, because they are the secrets of technological processes.
Customers often ask for blue amber. But is there such amber? There is no such blue Baltic amber. It can only have a blue glow - these are pyrite crystals that pierce the surface. However, there are blue ambers on the market - but these may be, for example, Dominican amber mined on the island of Haiti. An interesting fact is that despite the uniqueness of its color, this amber is completely natural. However, mining difficulties make it less available and therefore more attractive and desirable on the market of precious stones.

We cordially invite you to our Borunia and Amber Museum galleries in Krakow, where specialists will present you with a collection of outstanding European amber jewelery, bringing you closer to the palette of amber colors!

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