Amber... Daughter of the sun
ORIGIN OF AMBER
A trickle of resin, shining in the sunlight, drips from a slash of a tree trunk. It will get harder and harder,
as time passes. If a lot of time passes (millions of years) and the tree's habitat maintains conditions which
are particularly favourable to the original resin, it will harden and the miraculous change into the fascinating
gem - amber - will take place.
The ancient Greeks and Romans, who did not imagine such a long journey in time for
a stone which, at their time, was already embellishing the noblewomen and inspiring poets and men of science
(Homer, Ovid, Martial, Pliny the Elder), invented a fantastic legend, rich in pathos, to explain its origin.
"Phaethon, the dearest son of Apollo, was given permission by his father to drive his fire cart in the sky.
Due to his unskilfulness, young Phaethon caused serious damage to the Earth. A furious Zeus struck him with
lightning, throwing his lifeless body down to the banks of the river Eridanus (Po). There, the mourning Hellas
Sisters grieved over him for a long time, until the King of Gods, still angry, turned them into poplars, whose
tears condensed into bright amber gems". It is quite peculiar that this myth succeeds in defining the vegetal
origin of amber and its magic link with the sun. As a matter of fact, amber was called electron by the Greeks,
which means "product of the sun".
The ancient people were already aware of the capacity of amber to attract small
particles when rubbed. When, much later, through research on these properties, a new source of energy was found,
the same was named electricity, after amber, which allowed its discovery. Thus, amber is a mythical stone, which
has always been considered not only an attractive ornament, but also a source of protection - even therapeutic -,
having a special positive energy.
MAN AND THE AMBER
Amber has always been considered the 'Stone of the Sun' for its luminosity e for its warmth;
it fascinates and is loved.... And it is this passion that, day after day, deepens our desire to offer
at the world market jewels that are evermore original and distinctive, in order to always represent the
taste of women who love to wear this precious ray of sunshine.
JEWELS OF THE PAST
THE AMBER TREASURE OF THE PRINCES OF SIRITIDE
GRECO PREZIOSI has the honour of giving new life to the precious amber jewels of the Princes
of Siritide (Magna Graecia - Lucania, Southern Italy) and of the Piceno region (Central Italy).
All of them date back to the pre-Hellenic age, between the Seventh and the Sixth Century BC, and
stand out for their elegant and refined workmanship, unrivalled in the ancient world. These jewels
are very rare items, which were created in Baltic Amber for a caste of selected people, the only one
allowed to adorn themselves with "sacred" jewels (emblems of the cult of the Sun). After about three
thousand years, through it the keen mastery of their craftsmen and the most precious amber stones in
stock, GRECO PREZIOSI have been able to recreate the treasures of the ancient times. All the jewels
which are presented are true copies, severely certified and numbered, perfect to the last detail.
ADULTERATIONS AND IMITATIONS
Since all precious or semi-precious stones have always been more marketable when transparent, producers
have always tried to make the Baltic amber transparent, through methods of violence to its original appearance
and inner structure. The most common method employed is that of boiling amber in coloured oil, which penetrates
into the stone, making it transparent. Through this method, amber can also be given a choice of artificial colours.
However, this thermal abuse leaves unmistakable marks on the mistreated amber, in the form of radial fractures,
produced by the explosion of the air-bubbles contained inside the stone. A product being even more artificial and
very common in the market, is the so-called Die-Cast Amber (or ambroid), obtained by mixing amber powder, production
scraps and various plastic materials and then melting them into a single mass. This product can be easily identified
from its brownish, uniform and opaque colour, which lacks brightness and liveliness. Finally, in order to complete
this paragraph regarding adulteration, the imitations of amber in synthetic plastic resins (mostly bakelite and galalith)
have to be mentioned. There is a very simple method through which they can be identified, consisting of dipping the piece
in question into a salt-saturated water solution. If the piece goes to the bottom, it is certainly synthetic, since the
specific weight of plastic is higher than that of amber, which, in salted water, clearly floats.