What is Baltic Amber?
A precious gemstone naturally made of fossilized, now extinct conifer tree resin found buried in the bed of the Baltic Sea. :)
How is Baltic Amber Formed?
Molecular polymerization, resulting from high pressures and temperatures produced by overlying sediment, transforms the resin first into "Copal." Sustained heat and pressure drives off "terpenes" and results in the formation of amber.
For this to happen, the resin must be resistant to decay. Many trees produce resin, but in the majority of cases this deposit is broken down by physical and biological processes. Exposure to sunlight, rain, microorganisms (such as bacteria and fungi), and extreme temperatures tends to disintegrate resin. For resin to survive long enough to become amber, it must be resistant to such forces or be produced under conditions that exclude them. Complicated stuff, but fascinating! :)
How Does Lithuanian Baltic Amber provide Health Benefits?
Lithuanian Baltic Amber contains a natural chemical called "succinic acid," which if absorbed into the skin, relieves pain, inflammation and stress as well as it's known to relieve many other health conditions, including migraines, fibromyalgia, arthritis and more. We actually already have succinite in our bodies - Baltic Amber does too and it supports our natural supply providing amazing health benefits. No, this isn't junk science nor is it metaphysical - this is real medicine! Eastern Europeans including my Lithuanian ancestors have been using Baltic Amber for hundreds of years to relieve pain long before this healing phenomenon reached the United States! Now, even doctors and nurse practitioners are catching on and offering and or suggesting Baltic Amber for their patients! :)
Is Lithuanian Baltic Amber Safe?
Absolutely - as was stated before succinic acid already naturally exists in the human body and Lithuanian Baltic Amber just supplements our supply! Less than 1% of users report an allergy or irritation to the resin.
Regarding babies and small children, Amber Auksas ALWAYS recommends children should be monitored especially when wearing necklaces and do NOT allow them to chew on the Amber which could pose a choking hazard. And lastly, PROPER SIZING IS IMPERATIVE for maximum level of safety, comfort and your peace of mind! Amber Auksas NEVER recommends babies to sleep unattended in teething jewelry! :)
Is Your Amber Really Authentic/ Certified Lithuanian Baltic Material?
As a proud Lithuanian-American, and having been to Lithuania SEVERAL times, I source my Amber EXCLUSIVELY from beautiful Lithuania, the heartland of Baltic Amber from the Baltic Sea. It is 100% natural material without harsh treatments. My suppliers are personal friends of mine whom I trust wholeheartedly. I work with these few select Lithuanian families whose livelihood has been Lithuanian Baltic Amber for generations. But I am now taking my work a step further, by submitting large samples from my inventory every 6 months to an independent GIA Graduate Gemologist for testing and authentication. I am pleased to say every one of my hundreds of samples submitted passed with flying colors and you can see the results scrolling below the FAQ. I am also the ONLY brand endorsed by the International School of Gemology for 100% authenticity. While other companies with much larger inventories than that of Amber Auksas only submit one to three samples for independent testing, Amber Auksas is FAR exceeding the industry standard not only with quantity of items being tested BUT frequency as well! :)
What is Ethical Sourcing and Why is This Important? Also, Explain Exactly What This Raw Material Shortage Entails!
With the war and atrocities happening in Ukraine, knowing exactly when and where the raw material for your beads was collected in your supply chain has never been more important. This is why I say my Baltic Amber is ethically sourced - I can guarantee exactly where the raw originated. Not everyone can do this, and especially most non Eastern European sellers would never even consider such a thing. Due to the fact a lot of the amber harvesting infrastructure is run in Kaliningrad(a tiny Russian occupied territory on Lithuania's coastline) and Lithuania and the rest of Europe have boycotted any business in Russia( including Kaliningrad), this has resulted in a severe shortage of raw material. Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine are still able to collect some amber, but certainly not enough to meet the world's hunger for natural amber! As a result and in desperation, illegally smuggled Russian amber, counterfeit amber and etc alternatives have been making their way including in Lithuania. And prices for natural, ethically sourced material have skyrocketed and continue to climb. Unless your supplier can tell you exactly where the raw material was collected for your jewelry/beads, you could unknowingly and unintentionally be indirectly supporting the war through your purchase, even if it comes out of Lithuania or elsewhere. Here at Amber Auksas, I am working with every ounce of my being to keep these market conditions as small and gentle as possible in my pricing. However, please be advised that certain colors or grades/shapes for natural Baltic Amber are near impossible to find right now and likely will remain this way for the foreseeable future.
Why are Your Products so Much Cheaper than Other Retailers?
My heart and vision behind Amber Auksas is to make healing Lithuanian Baltic Amber accessible to EVERYONE, so I work my hardest to keep expenses low without ever compromising quality or the personalized attention I have become known for. There is also NO distributor or middleman with me - I source directly from my personal friends who generously give me "friend pricing" which I can pass along to you and this makes me so happy to do so! I believe God will bless my work while I strive daily to bless and help others! :)
How Do I Care for Amber?
Amber gemstone is different in that it is not like a “hard rock” like many of us picture traditional gemstones. It is soft and warm to the skin as well as relatively fragile, so care is needed to avoid impact, otherwise it could chip or shatter. It should not be gnawed on by little ones and especially bracelets should be worn with care. With proper care, Lithuanian Baltic Amber will last indefinitely. :) It is not recommended to expose Amber to soaps, lotions, hairspray, perfume, chlorine and other harsh chemicals as it will strip the Amber of its natural healing "oil" or leave a residue blocking absorption of the healing substance. Also, the constant wet and dry from bath time and swimming can cause the cord to wear out. You can clean your jewelry with plain warm water or a salt water solution and a very soft toothbrush or cloth. I also highly recommend to store your amber carefully and to not overtighten the screw clasp closures. :)
What Does Baltic Amber Feel Like?
It's quite soft, lightweight and warm to the touch, almost like a warm plastic. It is not sharp or cold like we traditionally think of "rocks." It also retains its warmth! You can put a piece of genuine Baltic Amber in the freezer and it will still remain warm! :)
How Do I Choose What Size for My Baby?
Amber Auksas always recommends measuring your baby prior to ordering. You do not want your necklace to be too tight nor too loose where baby can pull it into his mouth. About a 2-3 finger gap is perfect for the necklaces. And bracelets you want to have a good snug fit for maximum contact with the skin. You can use any sort of string or cord to measure and then just match it up against a tape measure or yard stick. Most parents start their baby's bracelet on the ankle to allow the baby to get used to it without chewing it. It is not toxic to mouth, but if baby does bite a bead, that can cause a choking hazard!
A Good General Size Guide for Babies/Small Children:
10" - Newborns or Growing Preemies
11" - 4-12 Months
12" - 9 months to 2 years
13" - 18 months - 5 years
14" - Over 4 years
4.5" - Newborns or Growing Preemies
5" - 4-9 Months
5.5" - 9 months to 2 years
6" - 18 months - 3 years
6.5" - 3-5 years
***PLEASE MEASURE IF YOU PLAN ON YOUR CHILD WEARING AN ANKLET ON THE WRIST!
Raw or Polished - Which Is Best?
Many people tout that raw and light colors are best or strongest, but in my experience, people have experienced equally favorable results from polished and dark Lithuanian Baltic Amber pieces. Baltic Amber and all Amber, for that matter, is the same substance through and through. Polishing just buffs out the roughness and that is it. I have numerous testimonies of dramatic relief from customers who have purchased polished and dark colors alike! You can see some of them at www.facebook.com/amberauksas/reviews. So, until I see independent scientific studies proving one way or another, it is my best recommendation to choose what is aesthetically attractive to you, what compliments your baby's skin tone and you will see benefit and results. :)
Should I Get a Teething Necklace or Bracelet/Anklet for My Baby?
In my experience with customers, teething necklaces have been more effective just because the skin around the neck is much warmer and supple than ankle skin, thus resulting in faster and better absorption. But...some parents are just not comfortable with their babies in a necklace, so another option is to get one of each and remove the necklace at bedtime but leave the anklet on 'round the clock. Or....get two anklets and put one on each wrist or ankle for greater exposure. :)
Do You Sell Both Pop and Screw Clasp Jewelry?
99% screw clasp. In my experience and research, pop clasps are not reliable and babies end up losing their jewelry with just the littlest of tugs. Always monitor young children, but if strong force is applied to the screw clasp necklaces or bracelets, they WILL break for your peace of mind. Our baby and children's jewelry are all individually knotted for your little one's safety. :)
What Are the Differences in Color?
These are just beautiful variations of the same gemstone(think of it the same as variations of colors in granite countertops) and ALL Baltic Amber colors provide the same pain relieving, anti-inflammatory, stress relieving and immunity boosting benefit. Just choose what is most beautiful to you and don't get caught up in the "this color/that color is best" or that plagues the internet. ;)
What about Light Amber Contains more Succinic Acid than Dark?
All Baltic Amber contains between 3-8% of this chemical succinic acid, so in my experience, I have not noticed any difference whatsoever in effectiveness from one color to the next. Quality of contact with the skin makes the biggest difference. It's honestly not worth buying into these viral opinions.
What About Putting My Baltic Amber in the Sun/Moon to Recharge it?
This is based on mysticism and folklore and personally, I don't subscribe to such claims or beliefs. If you feel better about it, then by all means, but there is no physical evidence that this actually makes any difference. :)
What Are the Differences Between Deluxe and Regular Pieces?
It's simply a matter of labor and waste into forming the beads or making the pieces. Fancy beads such as beans, petals or pearls require more work to shape than simple chip beads. Each bead is hand-formed and each piece is 100% handmade. The cost of each piece is reflective of the time, materials and labor to make it. :)
Who Makes Your Jewelry?
I, your friendly "Amberologist," Amber does in partnership with my dear family friends in Lithuania. :)
Are You Part of A Product Networking Company (Like LulaRoe, Mary Kay, etc)?
Absolutely not!!! This is my own private business birthed from a passion to share a piece my heritage affordably and directly. To my knowledge, Amber Auksas is the only business of its kind in the United States! Anyone can "sell" Amber gemstone, but how many of these retailers have the personal connection to the source that Amber Auksas is so proud of?! :)
What is the Cord You Use Made Out of?
A durable, European made Nylon made specifically for stringing Baltic Amber beads. I do not use cheap materials from China. Nylon is more durable and doesn't rot like cotton. :)
How Can I Test My Baltic Amber Myself for Authenticity?
There are a number of ways you can test your Baltic Amber, but the easiest and least invasive method is with salt water. You can safely test your baby's teething jewelry or loose stones with this method. Just make a simple salt water solution with one part salt to four-six parts water. All other materials or counterfeits will sink and real Baltic Amber will float! Just bear in mind that if your piece contains heavy metal accessories such as a brooch or a piece set in sterling silver, it won't float due to the weight of the metal. Just make sure you rinse your piece and let air dry before re-wearing. If you need additional help with other methods, please feel free to contact me! :)
My Baby Uses Baltic Amber But How Can It Help Me?
Just to name a few: menstrual cramps, headaches, stress, fibromyalgia, joint pain, MS, back injuries, carpal tunnel.......any condition involving pain, inflammation as well as stress will find great relief using Baltic Amber. Also, might I mention that Baltic Amber can be infused in an array of bath and beauty products, also providing natural therapeutic properties. My statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. :)
What Colors Does Baltic Amber Come In?
Creamy royal white, butter, lemon, butterscotch, light honey, medium honey, dark honey, cognac, cherry and black along with some greens. Cherry and Black Amber is heat treated which intensifies the natural lemon, honey and cognac colors. Heat treatment is nothing to be afraid of as it is a standard practice for thousands of years with most of the gemstones you know. It brings out the best color that Mother Nature was not able to accomplish deep down in the Earth! :)
Do You Take Custom Orders or Restring Broken Necklaces?
Custom orders are gladly considered depending on my workload at the time of inquiry. Regarding broken necklaces and in standing with Amber Auksas' vision to save you money, I supply affordable DIY repair kits along with clear video and printable PDF instructions, saving you the hassle and expense of mailing in a piece, awaiting the repair and return shipping. If you are not comfortable with a repair kit, then please consult with me and I will see what I can do.
Do You Offer Coupon Codes or Sales?
Amber Auksas was birthed with the core value that Baltic Amber should be affordable and accessible to everyone, so in short, my products are already priced as low as possible everyday while still having enough left over to support missions and sustain a business. Constant coupon codes and sales mean that our products have a high markup and we are trying to lure you in with a discount to make you feel like you a getting a good deal. Instead of marketing games, I offer my very best prices to everyone, all the time. I challenge you to find another company like Amber Auksas! I take great pride in my unique, affordable and selfless business model. :)
What Is Your Return Policy?
I offer 14 day no hassle returns or exchanges once product is received in original, unused, unworn condition. PLEASE STUDY PHOTOS CAREFULLY AND MEASURE FOR SIZING!!! Buyer is responsible for shipping except in the case of seller error or defect. Do not hesitate to message me for additional questions or photos. It's my pleasure to serve you!! :)
Do You Ship Internationally?
YES! I am now gladly shipping worldwide! Please just be aware that postage from the US to overseas is quite costly. Please contact me directly if you would like a quote from multiple carriers as my website does not support all of them. :)
Do You Sell Wholesale?
Oh yes! I have multiple boutiques throughout the US I am regularly supplying for. I also have the experience and connections needed to fill very specific luxury Baltic Amber demands. I love to help small and large shops with their Baltic Amber needs! I have a super low minimum order quantity and I provide everything you need to get started! If you have your business license/tax ID for a shop/business in a related industry(boutique, health & wellness, etc), please contact me with a copy of your paperwork to discuss your options and for more details! Kindly note that as I keep my everyday pricing for loose beads & DIY as low as possible for everyone, wholesale discounting applies to select finished jewelry and art wares only. :)
Any More Questions?
Please don't hesitate to reach out and ask! Lithuanian Baltic Amber is a part of me and truly my passion. No question is a dumb question! We are all always learning, so thank you for taking the time to read through these FAQs and I look forward to hearing from you!! :)