The origin of and how burnished Amber beads are made and used.
Made from raw Baltic Amber chips. To make them, raw chips are tumbled to remove the bark and rough edges from the chips.
Because they comply with the requirements of the International Amber Association, Gdansk Poland, they are classified as Natural Baltic Amber.
Natural Baltic Amber is defined by the international Amber Association as follows:
Natural Baltic amber (Succinite) – gemstone which has undergone mechanical treatment only (for instance: grinding, cutting, turning or polishing) without any change to its natural properties.
Tumbled beads, burnished or polished, are NOT raw amber. Raw Amber is unprocessed Amber. Craft beads are processed by subjecting them to polishing. They are a modification of raw amber.
Some beads are not completely polished. They have a rough, or otherwise called a burnished, surface.
They are commonly known as burnished beads and look like what you see below.
Some beads continue through the process and are highly polished.
The more a bead is polished, the more the pores on the surface are closed. So a highly polished bead has very few pores through which succinic acid can be conveyed from the inner part of the amber bead to the body.
Burnished amber beads look dull because the surface is porous. There are many pores through which succinic acid can come from the inner parts of the amber to reach the body.
If you are interested in the most effective bead for pain relief you want the one that will transfer the most succinic acid. And that is a burnished bead.
Do note, that any bead, such as cherry beads, are heated (as are some of the beads) to achieve their color. Heating then moves them from the classification Natural Baltic Amber to Modified Baltic Amber which is defined as follows:
“Modified Baltic amber (Succinite) – gemstone subjected only to thermal or high-pressure treatment, which changed its physical properties, including the degree of transparency and color, or shaped under similar conditions out of one nugget, previously cut to the required size.”
As far as succinic acid and pain relief go, heating the bead to change its color has no effect. Heated beads and unheated beads perform the same. It is the surface that should concern you. You want a porous surface like one on a burnished amber bead.
You can get burnished and polished beads at