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Archive for October, 2011

Tests to identify a true amber
Tests to Determine Amber Authenticity:

Smell Tests

Smell tests are effective because natural amber has a specific smell, which is difficult to obtain when producing falsifications. After heating real Baltic amber diffuses a specific delicate fragrance of pine-tree resins. Odours, diffused by falsifications: copal – smell of “sweet” resins, all others – smell of burnt plastic.

“Rubbing” Test

It is possible to heat real amber by rubbing until it releases the smell of pine- tree resins. Disadvantages: a strong hand is required, it is rather difficult to heat amber (especially when polished) to the necessary temperature and it is difficult to check jewellery. When rubbing into other materials, amber can scratch. •

The most effective – “Hot Needle”

Test Push a heated needlepoint into less visible point of sample amber (drill hole of bead, etc.). If you smell a light pine resin odour, it is true amber. Disadvantage: a small burning mark is left – it is irremediable. • Amber is brittle – when pushing a needle, you will notice some cracks. When pushing a needle into plastic, it swoops.

“Salty Water” Test

Relative weight of amber (also copal and polystyrene) (1.04-1.1) is little less than that of salty water (1.15). Thus, only these materials will flow in salt water, while others – will sink. Add 7-8 teaspoons full of salt to 300 ml and stir. Leave a salt for a few minutes to dissolve the salt water, still stirring. Perform the test, then rinse a sample with clean water. Disadvantages: Not suitable for polystyrene and copal, jewellery (metal, beads string, buckle makes amber to sink). In order to make sure that the flowing material is amber, a hot needle test must be performed.

IR spectroscopy

The most effective scientific method for identifying fossil resin – IR-spectroscopy. Baltic amber is characterized by IR-spectrum segment called “Baltic amber shoulder”.

“Trusted Hands”

There are many methods to distinguish real amber from falsehood, but for person, who has less knowledge about amber, the safest method is to buy amber from “trusted hands”. It is ideal, if a store provides a certificate, proving amber authenticity – you will be sure about your purchase.

Teething help for babies: amber teething necklace;   amber bracelets;   amber teething anklets;

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