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How to Polish a Dull Amber Ring

Amber, in technical terms, is a fossilised plant resin that takes millions of years to form. Because of its rarity, coupled with the way it preserves perfect specimens of ancient bugs and plant life, amber has been highly valued since prehistoric times. In fact, after being made into jewellery for nearly 3,000 years, it's still a popular "stone" to wear today. However, because amber is not truly a stone, it can easily be damaged. Take special care when caring for and cleaning amber jewellery.

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  1. Wet a soft, flannel cloth with lukewarm water. Gently wipe the surface of the amber to remove dust and sweat, which can cause the amber to look dull. Dry the amber with another soft cloth.

  2. Pour a small amount of olive oil on the cloth, and rub the oil into the amber. This will help it shine. Use a clean, dry cloth to rub away any excess oil.

  3. Store your ring in a flannel jewellery bag, so that it does not get scratched by other jewellery---and is not exposed to environmental dangers, such as hairspray or perfume.

  4. Tip

    If the metal setting of your ring is tarnished, carefully wrap the amber in a cloth before you polish the metal. If any of the metal polish touches the amber, it can cause the surface to become cloudy or brittle.


    Heat is amber's enemy. Do not store your amber near a radiator or in direct sunlight. Using a steam cleaner to clean amber is a bad idea as well, because it may melt or shatter the amber. Soaps, household cleaners, and alcohol can also damage amber, so do not do housework while wearing your amber rings.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft flannel cloths
  • Olive oil

About the Author

Alexis Vega-Singer has been an editor for ten years, doing general copyediting and developmental and production editing for ESL textbooks. She has an A.M. from Harvard in Greek and Latin Philology.

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