Although amber is used in jewelry in the same way stones like diamonds and emeralds are, Baltic amber is softer and more brittle than those types of jewels. It is not a mineral at all, but a fossilized tree sap or resin. Baltic amber is not only one color either. It ranges from pale yellows and browns to whites and greens to mixed colors.
Things You'll Need
- Power belt sander
- Sanding belt
- Sand paper (medium grit)
- Sand paper (fine grit)
- Cotton buffing wheel
- Buffing compound
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Power-sand the amber to round the sharpest edges and create the final shape you want for your piece, such as a cabochon, teardrop or square.
Sand the surface with 80- to 160-grit sandpaper to smooth the texture.
Sand the entire surface with a fine-grade sandpaper to remove the rougher scratches made by the lower-grade sanding paper.
Use a cotton buffing wheel with a finishing compound to complete the shine on the finished piece of amber. Apply the compound to the piece of amber and polish the whole piece, removing the last of the scratches. Repeat with more compound if you need to. If you find spots that need more work after you finish this step, go back to a rougher sanding and work up to this step again.
Polish a finished piece of Baltic amber by using a soft cloth and lukewarm water. You can also use a bit of olive oil and a soft cloth to clean and return the finished shine to the polished piece after you have washed it off. Rub the oil over the amber and wipe off the excess.