We've started to get this question a lot, and there seems to be quite a bit of confusion around the subject of heating, pressurizing, or 'autoclaving' Baltic amber.
Thankfully, we've actually been to Lithuania and walked through the Baltic amber workshop that all of our Baltic amber jewelry comes from, and had each step explained to us by the 'Master' amber artisan. This cleared up some of our own questions and confusion about the process, and our hope is that we can now pass that clarity on to you! :)
Amber naturally occurs in a range of different colors. As well as the usual light-orange or 'honey' amber that is associated with the color we call 'amber', amber itself (Baltic and otherwise) can range from dark green, yellowish-clear, to cloudy white, so basically everything below except for the very left column:
Darker colors can also be achieved (see above, far left column) but only if heated in an oven or pressurized in an autoclave (see below for what an autoclave looks like):
That is actually THE autoclave that is used to produce the darker colors of amber used in our jewelry. Pretty cool, right?
Yes and no:
No, it's not doing anything to the amber that would harm you or your child. It's only pressure and / or heat that's being applied (they sometimes just use heat) to darken the color. There are no chemicals involved, no dyes or anything that is applied to the amber at any step.
Yes, this seems to impact the effectiveness of the Baltic amber in terms of its (theoretical) pain & inflammation fighting abilities. But this should come as no surprise to anyone who has studied or used Baltic amber teething necklaces before. It is almost universally acknowledged that the darker colors aren't as strong as the lighter colors.
And now we have a pretty good idea of why that's true, because those colors are being treated more aggressively to achieve the look that some customers are after, and understandably so. Dark Cherry amber is very beautiful, and a great choice if you're only dealing with light teething pain.
If you're dealing with more aggressive teething pain, then we'd recommend picking an 'untreated' lighter color, such as our ultra effective Super Butter:
>> Are Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces Heated Or Treated? << You Are Here
Or see all of our Baltic amber jewelry styles: