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Itemized: Amber Necklace

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Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Kori Dyer talks about an Amber necklace passed down from her mother.

Gifts from my grandparents, or Babci (bob-chee) and Dziadziu (ja-ju) as we called them, were never the typical footsie pajamas or ugly Christmas sweater. The standard in our family was always something handmade from Poland like wool slippers, traditional folk dolls and precious pieces of Amber.

As I mentioned in my post for Mother’s Day, Amber is fossilized resin, and very popular in woodland Poland. Rivers carry the sap from large pine trees, similar to what would be considered our US sequoia trees, and deposit it into the Baltic Sea. Sometimes insects and plants get caught in it along the way, which makes the stone even more rare and valuable. No two Amber gems are alike.

The 30-year-old pendant that I’m featuring today is one piece out of a large collection I have kept over the years. It was given to my mother when she was seventeen when her father came back from his annual trip to visit our family in Kraków. Luckily, she later passed it down to me.

I love the ornate detail of the sterling silver clasp and how when sunlight hits the droplet, it gives off a warm, vintage quality. I usually wear it on a simple and delicate silver chain to compliment the intricate elements. The teardrop shape is prevalent with this sort of jewelry because there's an ancient myth that Amber is solidified tears of gods. The most common mystical use for Amber, though, is to ward off evil. That is, of course, why I wear it.

Posted: June 21, 2011
Itemized: Amber Necklace