What is Amber
Amber is fossilised tree resin which is around 30 to 90 million years old. Because it originates as a soft, sticky tree resin, amber sometimes contains animal and plant material as inclusions.
Copal is not Amber it is immature resin, aged from a few hundred years old to several thousand years old.
Amber has been appreciated for its colour and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewellery. Amber was also thought to have therapeutic and healing powers. Greeks and Romans believed that Amber can not only promote health, but also that it had the capacity to draw misfortune and evil spirits away from people.
Nowadays, many people love to use amber not only for its beauty but to take advantage of its reputed properties – Natural Baltic Amber has unique properties unlike any other amber in the world.
Amber occurs in a range of different colours. As well as the usual yellow-orange-brown that is associated with the colour “amber”, amber itself can range from a whitish colour through a pale lemon yellow, to brown and almost black. Other uncommon colours include red amber, green amber, and even blue amber, which is rare and highly sought after.
Yellow amber is a hard, translucent, yellow, orange, or brown fossil resin from evergreen trees found along the southern shore of the Baltic Sea.
How Does It Work?
Baltic amber contains succinic acid, the proportion varying from about 3% to 8%, this acid is what provides Amber with its reputed healing, immunity enhancing, anti-inflammatory, stress and pain relief properties.
What Kind Of Amber Do We Sell?
We only sell genuine and natural Amber, which comes from Baltic Sea Region. We have long term relationships with our Amber supplier and are able to obtain high quality natural Amber. We take great care and pride in sourcing and supplying the highest quality Amber.
You can shop our range of amber beads here.
Proof Of Authenticity.
We have provided authenticity on each amber product on our website. We regularly test our amber to ensure it meets our high standards.
As amber has risen in popularity, the market has been flooded with fake amber.
Some of the most common substances used for imitating Amber are Copal, glass, Casein, Modern Plastic, Celluloid and Fenolic resins. They can be quite similar to Amber in appearance, and it can often be difficult to tell the difference between real and fake amber.
Copal is immature tree resin which has not had the time to fully harden into amber. Glass is more solid, and feels cold – you wouldn’t be able to scratch it with metal.
Celluloid is quite similar to Amber visually; however it is more solid and when heated it smells of burnt plastic.
Modern plastic is another substance used to replicate Amber and it can be quite difficult to distinguish visually. This substance is quite commonly used to make fake Amber inclusions. To separate genuine inclusion from fake the first thing you should ask yourself is if it seems too good to be true – falsified inclusions quite commonly contain large insects (larger than 10 millimeters) that tend to be inserted into the center. While it is possible that these kind of inclusions would happen in real Amber they are very rare. You can also identify Modern plastic by heating it a little since it will emit a burnt plastic smell.
How To Tell If Amber Is Genuine Or Fake?
There are a lot of different tests which can be done to determine if Amber is real or fake.
One of the most popular methods for testing is a scent test. Real Amber has a smell similar to pine (when burnt). When fake Amber is heated it generally smells like burnt plastic.
Another way to tell if Amber is real or fake is to do a Scratch test. As real Amber is slightly softer than plastic you will be able to scratch it.
Hot Needle is another popular test that you can do on Amber. Heat a needle until it becomes red and then push it gently into the Amber. If it is real Amber you should notice a pine smell. If the needle goes in very easily and you can smell more of a sweet resin smell, it is most likely Copal.
To separate Amber from plastic imitations you can also do Saltwater test. Simply fill 1/3 of cup with salt and then fill the other part with water. Stir it well until salt is completely dissolved. After that add your Amber into this water. Both glass and plastic imitations will sink and real Amber should float in the water.
You can test the difference between Copal and Amber by applying a few drops of alcohol (or nail polish remover) to the item – Amber will be unaffected & Copal will become sticky.