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often manifest as:
XThe formation of a network of cracks over the surface of an amber piece. If left untreated, these fine cracks can lead not only to superficial flaking, but also infiltration of the specimen over time, erupting along internal fractures, even directly compromising inclusions.
XColour changes (‘darkening’, ‘yellowing’ or ‘reddening’) of amber – due in part to prolonged heat exposure – is especially prevalent in some older collections. Such darkening will eventually obscure any inclusions, and is only reversible in specific cases by trimming/grinding away some of the amber.
XIn the worst cases, breakage of the amber piece occurs, along with destruction of its inclusions.
XIndications that a specimen has internal damage include spalling, exfoliation and powder, as well as the formation of a desiccated rind or crust on the amber surface. Networks of minute cracks may also develop inside an amber piece close to the surface of an inclusion.
XPyrite disease has never previously been discussed as a potential hazard for amber collections. However, in and around some amber specimens, we observed a greyish powder with yellow crystals commonly associated with pyrite disease, as well as the formation of some dark-to-grey crystals in contact with amber inclusions
X Prolonged exposure to UV-light (100–400 nm) and visible daylight (390–750 nm), especially behind window glass without UV blocking filters will cause severe damage to amber, since it induces the oxidation of the molecular structure of the amber. Play with the window shade to control the light coming in. When it turns green it means that the light is adequate to preserve the amber piece.
XElevated temperature and fluctuations in it including freezing, in conjunction with changes in oxygen level, has been shown to achieve specific colour changes in amber.
Click on the buttons and find out which is the optimal temperature to preserve the amber piece when the thermometer goes green.
XLevels or changes in RH can cause or contribute to deterioration in fossil resins, but deleterious effects vary between different ambers. An increased RH in combination with thermal stress can accelerate amber degradation and promote pyrite disease.
Find out which is the ideal RH when the hygrometer goes green.
XOxidation is the most problematic hazard for amber since it is intrinsically linked to O2 and other environmental factors, particularly temperature, light and airborne pollutants, all of which contribute to the oxidation process. This process can cause depolymerisation and also lead to colour change (yellowing/darkening) as well as the eventual fragmentation of the specimen inside amber.
You cannot control the oxidation process, that's why the O2 icon changes itself. Look at it, the more temperature and humidity, the more oxidation there will be. Now play with the other icons and see what happens.