This amber is Baltic, and it is often called the real amber. There are other ambers from other places, but Baltic amber is the most available. Amber is fossilized tree resin—not sap which circulates through a tree’s vascular system—but resin which is secreted through canals in the epithelial cells of a pine tree. The real delight of amber is when bugs and plant material are captured in its resin and fossilize inside the amber. The thrill of amber is that these pieces could be 40 million years old.
Tibetan centerpieces are my most favorite to collect.
They always feature a large-sized stone bezeled onto a piece of silver or bronze which is richly engraved and decorated with a classic Asian animal. When I choose a Tibetan piece for a necklace, I invariably use matching beads strung fairly simply. And I try to find a creative clasp solution for the back of the necklace.
This necklace follows the pattern described above.
The centerpiece amber has interesting if indistinct inclusions.
The animal featured above it is a goose which the Asian culture loves because a migratory bird never fails to return. They also mate for life. Both themes signify longevity and constancy.
Notice also on the back of the centerpiece the image of a deer, much beloved in Tibetan Buddhism as well as in Tibetan folklore and legends based on themes of longevity.
I love how the deer is resting on a regal floral vine beautifully carved in brass.
From the philosophical grounding of longevity themes, lift your eyes, dear reader, to the whimsical background of the clasp: in its prior life in the 1960’s, this chunk of amber was a cufflink! My friend Betty gave me a bag of broken and out-of-favor jewelry (I love it when friends do that!) with several amber cufflinks I treasured. Here it is, upcycled! Check out the inclusions.
This necklace is 24” long; the centerpiece is 2.5” long; matching earrings are included. $99.