How to define authenticity of amber

How to define authenticity of amber

The wood pitch which hardened tens millions years ago presented to people "a solar stone" – amber. It is very beautiful and possesses curative properties therefore demand for products from amber was always high. One of serious problems of the amber market – numerous fakes from glass, plastic, synthetic pitches, and also imitation from an ambroid, dug also a cowry. It is possible to define authenticity of amber with an absolute accuracy only in vitro. However there are also some easy ways available to everyone.

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Attentively examine a product. It is possible to distinguish amber on rich game of shades and unique drawing. Too uniform color, existence of a large number of air bubbles and "lenses" says that before you imitation. In the pressed amber (ambroid) structures of a current and vials of air extended in one direction are usually well distinguishable. In natural amber they have to have the correct spherical form.


Rub a product from amber about woolen fabric or fur. It has to be electrified and start attracting to itself easy subjects: threads, paper slices, etc. However, some types of plastic are also electrified, but at them this effect is expressed more weakly. If electrization is absent completely, to you offer an obvious fake.


Ship a sample in the concentrated hydrochloric solution (8 – 10 teaspoons on a glass of water). At amber very low density (on average 1.05 – 1.12 g/cm3). At plastic, synthetic pitches and furthermore it flew down much higher. Therefore original amber will emerge on a surface, and fakes of amber will drown. However, if the product is put into a metal frame, it will be difficult to use this way.


Bring the lit match to a stone surface. Natural amber will start exuding a characteristic smell of rosin, plastic fakes – an unpleasant chemical smell.


Amber is very fragile material. Try to scratch a product surface a sharp knife. If thus shaving, before you synthetic polymer is formed. The real amber will crumble.


It is unlikely the seller will be delighted with your attempts to set fire or scratch a product. But if on cash desk there is a device for check of authenticity of banknotes, ask to illuminate a stone an ultraviolet. Amber will start luminescing – to give light of mainly blue shades. The majority of plastic in ultraviolet rays does not shine, dug becomes white.

Kopala and cowry

The "young" fossil kopalovy pitches and modern kopala received from pine cowry pitch are much softer than amber. Press a product a firm subject. If on it there is a trace, before you dug. Kopalovy pitches are not electrified by friction, when heating exude an unpleasant medicinal smell. Unlike natural amber, they are dissolved on air. Drip air on a surface of a kopalovy sample: it will become sticky, and then will dim.