I love making Bead Trade Necklaces and this one, Raven Steals the Sun, Amber Trade Bead Necklace, TB473, is right up there on Walker Goldsmiths favorites list. This 20 inch necklace is ALL Amber except for a few inches of small glass beads and the black lip shell button clasp and of course, our lost wax cast Potlatch Collection Sterling Raven wearing his Dancing Blanket. The wily Raven lost wax cast Sterling Pendant, 1 inch x 1/2 inch, by Walker Goldsmiths is depicted with a Chilkat Dance Robe on and he is stylin’! He’s ready to dance the magical dance. He’s full of supernatural power as only Raven can be. The wooing, the tricks, the teasing, the fun are all his specialties. He was the Bringer of Light to the Indians of Alaska. Is this a path for you? Do you enjoy organizing your reality and are you a bit of a prankster wanting a good laugh? If so, then Raven is just right for you.
The Amber in this Raven Steals the Sun, Amber Trade Bead Necklace is all Baltic Amber and typically full of many variations in color. I love to mix the chips, chunks, and different size round beads together for an eye treat. Amber is light weight, warm, comfortable and easy to care for.
What is Baltic Amber? Wikipedia says, “Amber is any natural resin which oozed its way out of a tree and eventually fossilized at any time from recent times back to 300 million years ago. It has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty ever since stone age times and much valued from Antiquity to the present as a gemstone.” Amber is generally yellow or yellow brown and translucent, and it is pretty when polished. In its fresh form, resin has been known to collect insects or leaves in its sticky clutches, preserving them in visually perfect splendor for thousands of years. I have a wonderful big hunk of Amber that my dad bought for me from a street vendor when he was on a trip to Poland and I was pleased to find with a magnifying glass that it has a mosquito inside of it!
Why do I call Amber a Trade Bead? Archeologists have found that Amber has been used since the stone age, from about 13,000 years ago. Beginning long before the Roman Empire controlled all the known Amber trading routes through the Mediterranean. These routes became known as “The Amber Road”, which crossed Europe from Prussia to the Adriatic. Baltic amber was involved in this long distant trade throughout Europe and Asia perhaps beginning about 13,000 BC. I’m crazy about these stories and research of trade routes and trade goods.
There’s also the observed evidence that Amber relieves pain. It has a substance in it called succinic acid. “Succinic acid is a natural pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and a central nervous system calmer. It is so effective on babies and small children because it simultaneously eases their pain while also having a strong soothing effect on their nervous system – all with zero side effects!”. My grandchildren all have them. This also may have been one of the reasons for its desirability and value. Maybe you’ve seen these on some teething babies.
Given all the incredible history, wonderful adventure and beauty of Amber it’s fun to know that I can enjoy it and make beautiful jewelry out of it today like my “Raven Steals the Sun”, Amber Trade Bead Necklace – TB473. Matching Earrings on request. Walker Goldsmiths will sell this TB473 design necklace, of course, no two pieces of Amber are exactly alike, for $435.00.
Here’s another bunch of Amber information; http://activeartist.net/on-the-trade-routes-part-2-with-amber/ Another page of Amber necklace photos and a fun story; http://activeartist.net/raven-revealed-trade-bead-necklace/