What is the best way to know whether my amber jewellery is genuine?
How to tell whether Baltic amber is real or false?
At the moment, the market is inundated with imitation amber, particularly those that include inclusions. In this blog article, I will go through the many kinds of fake amber that are most common.
There are various tests or techniques that may be used to distinguish false Baltic amber from genuine Baltic amber.
Purchasing authentic Baltic Amber from reputable suppliers, such as me, is the most essential step you can take. I have been in the Baltic amber business for years and have positive client evaluations to prove it.
Many fake amber merchants set up shop for a short period of time, sell a large number of products, collect the money from consumers, and then close up shop or relocate so that they cannot be traced. This is a terrible reality, particularly in the case of certain internet companies.
They are also unconcerned about the safety of their customers and do not provide an extended warranty or return policy. Look for client testimonials at all times. If you are unable to locate any, stay away! You may read what my satisfied customers have to say about me here.
Fake amber is often produced using the materials listed below. Copal, glass, phenolic resins, celluloid, and plastic are some of the materials used. They have the appearance of natural amber; however, they are not genuine.
Copal (young amber) is often referred to be Baltic amber, although it is really extremely young tree resin (1000- 1 million years old). Natural inclusions are conceivable in Copal, although they are almost often fabricated. Insects that are much too large and far too perfect are put into them. Copal melts at a relatively low temperature (less than 150 degrees Celsius) and has a tendency to melt rather than burn. After heating, it releases the scent of burning resins into the air.
Glass is easily distinguished from amber due to its greater solidity and inability to be scratched by metals. Glass is entirely fireproof. It’s also a little chilly to the touch.
This substance is present in fake amber beads and is called phenolic resin. It is hard to see the difference between these amber beads and genuine amber since they are precisely formed (oval, faceted) (dark red, cloudy yellow). After heating, it does not release the distinctive fragrance of pine-tree resins that distinguishes Baltic amber from other types of amber.
Cellulose nitrate is often yellow and hazy in appearance. It is hard to see the difference between it and amber from a distance. Celluloid is a more solid material that is less flammable. The stench of burned plastic is diffused after it has been heated.
Artificial amber and inclusions are made out of plastic (polyester, polystyrene) and other materials. The beads are much too round and perfectly round, and they lack any of the features that distinguish genuine amber beads. All of the colours are also consistent. The stench of burned plastic is diffused after it has been heated.
Checks to see whether your amber is genuine are available.
Because genuine amber has a distinct scent that is difficult to replicate when making fakes, scent tests are the most effective method of identification. While genuine Baltic amber diffuses pine-tree resin’s unique, delicate scent after heating, other materials disperse the smell of burned plastic after being exposed to heat. I refer to the smell as “salty trees” on a regular basis.
Test with a Rub
The fragrance of pine-tree resin may be obtained by rubbing genuine amber until it releases the heat it needs to be used. Due to the difficulty of heating amber (particularly when polished) to the required temperature, this requires a very strong hand. It is the most effective when massaged into the palm of the hand.
Acetone Test (also known as acetone sensitivity test)
Drip a few drops of acetone (fingernail polish remover) or alcohol over the surface of your item to remove any remaining polish. If the surface gets sticky, or if the fluid takes on the golden honey colour of the material, you may be certain that it isn’t real amber. Amber is not affected by these solvents, and it will not disintegrate under their influence.
Test with Salt Water
This test is very simple to administer and highly effective. In a dish, combine two cups of warm water and a quarter cup of salt, stirring constantly until the salt is fully dissolved. After you’ve completed this step, drop the amber piece into the solution and stir well. Genuine amber floats; therefore, if the piece of amber does, it is truly genuine amber.
Test for Ultraviolet Light
If you have spent a large amount of money on amber, this is the most appropriate exam for you. A UV light will be required for this task. The colour of amber changes to a sort of blue or green when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. As a result, if your amber item seems to be a different colour when exposed to light, it is not genuine amber.
Test with a Hot Needle
The hot needle test is probably the most effective of the available tests. Insert a hot needle into a discrete location in the Amber crystal (a hole of a drilled bead, etc.). If you detect distinct pine-tree resins, you have discovered genuine amber.
This is the most efficient scientific technique for distinguishing among resins on the market. The Baltic amber shoulder is a section of the infrared spectrum that distinguishes Baltic amber from other types of amber. Ensure you do not wear them in the shower, swimming pool, etc., and do not use any polishing agent.
The price is the single most important indication of genuineness. If the amber you are considering buying is very inexpensive, it is likely to be a fake.