Michelle Albala 18mm Checkerboard Cut Amber & Black Spinel Pendant w/ 20" Chain

A setting sun in the desert! Crafted in polished 18K yellow vermeil over sterling silver with black rhodium accents, this lovely pendent features overlapping wishbone-like shapes with a brushed finish on one and the other with 27 round cut 2.0-1.5mm black spinels in prong settings. The wishbone holds one round checkerboard cut 18mm orange amber in a bezel setting.

The total amber weight is 7.00ct and the total spinel weight is 0.62ct (both approximate). This pendant, with a hidden bail, measures 1-7/16"L x 1"W and includes a 20" chain that secures with a spring ring clasp.

Part of the Michelle Albala collection. Made in China. All weights pertaining to diamond weights are minimum weights. Additionally, please note that many gemstones are treated to enhance their beauty. Click here for important information about gemstone enhancements and special care requirements.

GoldoverSilver    Amber    Spinel    

Vermeil Plating:
Pronounced "vermay," vermeil is an electroplating process in which 14K gold or higher is coated over sterling silver. Officially designated by the jewelry industry, items may only be sold as vermeil if they have a minimum thickness of 100 millionths of an inch (2.5 microns) of gold over the silver. Regular gold plating is less than 2.5 microns.

The "vermeil" technique of plating sterling silver with gold originated in France in the 1750s. It differs from "gold filled" or "gold plated" in terms of the thickness or thinness of the microns over sterling silver. "Gold filled" pieces have a much thicker layer, between 15 and 45 microns, which is mechanically bonded to the base metal with heat and pressure. Vermeil is a more expensive version of "gold plated". It does not wear off as quickly as gold plating does. However, over time, vermeil wears off and therefore will require re-plating.

Gold/Platinum Embraced Silver or Bronze:
Our platinum and gold embraced collections feature layers of platinum or gold over sterling silver or bronze for a lustrous, radiant finish everywhere you look and touch.

To care for your plated jewelry items:

  • Remove jewelry before bathing, swimming, washing hands, putting on make-up, lotions, perfumes, and/or working with household chemicals, cleaners, or acidic liquids.
  • Do not clean plated jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner or in silver cleaning solutions, as it could completely remove the plating finish from your item.
  • Ensure your jewelry item is thoroughly dry before storing. Moisture in an enclosed space can increase tarnishing.
  • Store your plated jewelry in a jewelry box lined with felt or anti-tarnish material. Items should not be stacked as this may cause damage to the plating surface.
  • Do not use excessive pressure when cleaning with a polishing cloth or soft brush, as this may cause damage to the plating.
  • Over time your plated items will need to be re-plated. Contact your local jeweler for information on plating services.

    Amber:
    Amber is fossilized resin from ancient plants, especially coniferous trees. Tens of millions of years ago, if the conditions were right, this sticky resin would become encased in earth and gradually become fossilized. Resin that has not completely fossilized is called copal.

    Sometimes leaves, bits of wood, and even the whole bodies of insects would be trapped along with the resin. Pieces of amber with the intact remains of ancient insects or other small organisms are rare and highly valued. More than 1,000 extinct species have been identified in amber.

    Jewelry and History
    Amber is translucent and range in color from dark brown to a light lemon yellow. It is very soft, with a hardness of 2.5 on the Mohs Scale, and it can be scratched easily. Jewelry with amber cabochons should be worn with care to prevent damage to the stones.

    Amber has been used as jewelry for thousands of years. Homer mentions amber jewelry—earrings and a necklace of amber beads—as a princely gift in The Odyssey. Amber can be burned, and this produces a strong aroma the ancient Germans used as incense; they called it bernstein, or "burn stone." Clear, colorless amber was considered the best material for rosary beads in the Middle Ages due to its smooth, silky feel.

    Today, two main sources of amber are the Baltic Sea and the Dominican Republic. Amber from the Baltic states is older, but amber from the Dominican Republic is more likely to have insect inclusions.

    The great imposter of gemstone history, many famous rubies have been found to actually be red spinels. Perhaps the most famous of which is the Black Prince’s Ruby. Once worn by Henry V on his battle helmet, this 170.00ct red spinel is now set in the British Imperial State Crown. Another famous misidentification is the Timur Ruby, a 352.00ct red spinel now owned by Queen Elizabeth. This particular stone is engraved with the names of the Mughal emperors who previously owned it.

    History is unclear whether these mistaken identities were merely accidents or clever substitutions of rubies for the less valuable spinels by dishonest jewelers. In Burma, spinel was recognized as a separate gem species in 1587, but the masquerade lasted for hundreds of years after that in most other countries.

    Spinel carries a considerable amount of worth not only based on its history, but due to its brilliance and wide range of spectacular colors. When interpreted by the Greek, the word “spinel” means “spark” in reference to its beautiful sparkle. In addition to red, it can be found in shades of pink, purple, green, brown or black. An exceptional color from Burma is a vivid hot pink with an orange undertone. Spinel can also come in a beautiful blue hue, sometimes called cobalt spinel, but this color is quite rare.

    The most beautiful colors of the stone are mined in Myanmar (formerly Burma), but spinels are also found in Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Russia. They have a hardness of 7.5-8.0 on the Mohs Scale and are traditionally given as a 22nd wedding anniversary gift.