I bought this magnificent Baltic amber bracelet at the American Museum of Natural History in the early 1980s. I've worn it a few times but it is in prime condition with no scratches or imperfections.
The bracelet was made in Poland, home of the finest amber artisans in the world. It is a sterling silver link bracelet with 10 cabochons of Baltic honey amber, each 14X10mm. in size (3/4" by 1/2"). Amber is the sap of prehistoric pine trees (now submerged under the Baltic Sea) that ran down the trees some 65 million years ago. This was a semi-tropical area in prehistoric times, as amber sap can only run freely in a warm climate.
This is the finest grade of pure, clear classic honey amber, filled with the "sun-spangles" that characterize amber. These are the results of minute bits of water, air and plant debris trapped in the amber as it ran, that burst and resulted in the radiant flecks of light you see.
Each link is set in sterling silver, banded on the sides with the back left open so the radiance of the golden honey amber shines through. The artisan's mark is on the 'tongue' part of the clasp, and is barely discernible, but I've tried to show it in the close-up scans. The bracelet measures 7.75" long when clasped.
If you are a fan of this gorgeous organic gem (and we are many), you will know that this is a competitive price for well-crafted vintage Baltic amber jewelry. Amber enjoyed a period of low prices during the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, when cheap Russian amber flooded the market, but those days are sadly gone. Amber has skyrocketed in price again. Much of the amber on the market today has been far more processed than in the 1980s when these were made: you can see it in the exaggerated amount of 'sun-spangles' in most modern amber pieces, a giveaway of heavy processing. This bracelet is from the days of classic, unprocessed amber jewelry produced by artisans who took great pride in their craft.
For those who have written to ask, the 2 finest and most comprehensive books about amber on the market are "Amber: The Golden Gem of the Ages" by Dr. Patty C. Rice (The Kosciusko Foundation), and "Amber: Window to the Past" by Dr. David Grimaldi (American Museum of Natural History). Dr. Grimaldi's book is scientific, and Dr. Rice's includes the finest collection of amber jewelry photos and history on the market.
NOTE: all my original designs and text are sole property of Strega2 Jewelry and protected under Title 17 of the copyright laws. Any copying, adaptation or infringement will result in legal action.
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