Thursday, March 24, 2011
cloudy amber jewellery
When I was growing up and hung out in forests in southern Ontario, I sometimes saw resin dribbled down the bark of pine trees. The resin was clear and yellow and sticky. It stayed clear and yellow and sticky even when it rained.
I don't know what happens in the stage between resin becoming amber so that you can't get amber wet. I bought myself a beautiful amber ring a week ago. I wore it one evening and the next day noticed that the amber looked smudged. I tried to clean it but nothing worked. I finally looked on the Net and found innumerable smart-ass sources warning me not to get amber wet. Amber + water = turbid. Maybe the jeweller could have let me know. I hadn't done the dishes or anything like that. I'd just... washed my hands at some point.
How could I restore it? Searches revealed ever more warnings about getting amber wet. Thanks. Also lots of self-help medical sites on what it means if your urine is cloudy amber in colour. I had to read through a few sites on the properties of amber before I found a line suggesting that an oil bath would help. "The oil fills the numerous pores to which the turbidity is due." (Cf Wikipedia.)
I've had my ring soaking in almond oil for 4 days now. It doesn't look 100% new, but almost all the cloudiness is gone. I'm posting this so that the next person who wants to undo the damage of amber + water might not have to look so long. I used almond oil because sites on cleaning amber--without water--suggested almond oil.