Question: ‘How do you get Vicki excited at a Trade Fair?’

Answer: ‘Take her to the Amber stall!’

Here are a few reasons why she just couldn’t resist an eclectica re-stock at this year’s Spring Fair…

As some of you lovely eclecticats may be aware, I have a a serious weakness for the bling side of things, in particular our silver & gemstone collections. Amber jewellery ranks high in the (extensive) list of favourites!

Neither gemstone or mineral, amber is the fossilized resin or sap of pine trees and in its fossilized form, amber can be 25-50 million years old or even older! I know that’s REALLY old right?! And it can be utterly beautiful. Some of you may have seen pieces with remnants of bugs that got ‘stuck’ so they’re millions of years old too.

If that in itself isn’t astonishing enough, amber comes in an array of colours and textures as only nature can do. Green amber, for example gets its colour from decaying matter in marshy environments and is often treated in an autoclave (vacuum gas chamber) with oxygen, nitrogen and argon to clarify its colour.

Some of my absolute favourites are pieces made from probably the most common amber, cognac amber. This has a burnt toffee, rich golden colour, often contains air bubbles and bits of leaves, wood and insects. Often shiny, it does usually contain fewer gasses and less air than milky and antique amber. Set in silver, there is something very special about cognac amber. And, amazingly, when exposed to the elements cognac amber turns to a dark burgundy red colour and is known as cherry amber – also stunning.

Milky amber is a pale butterscotch yellow or whiteish honey yellow colour and can be solid or opaque. It does eventually darken to a golden antique amber.

Here’s a lovely poem by Margaret Coats, found on the Society of Classical Poets website, that really captures the essence of this wonderful work of Mother Nature;

Amber Song

I come from amber, Baltic gold,

A gem but not a stone,

And not a thousand ages old,

A girl from pine sap grown,

When fully cured, of warm physique

And vibrant to the touch,

A little sunshine called in Greek,

Electron, for I clutch

Fair living forms diminutive

By piquant treacle caught,

And render them evocative

Of poignant thoughts inwrought.

Magnetically I heal harsh aches

Of head or intellect;

Electrically my being quakes

When waves the sun reflect.

From Hyperborean deep blue sky

Apollo still sheds tears;

of Lithuanian lineage, I

Sing verse for other ears,

But worship the Unconquered Sun,

As folk of mine have duly done.

I hope these terrific new pieces excite you as much as me 🙂
Vicki x


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