New Mineral Named After GIA’s John Koivula
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 Post subject: Amber question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:10 am 
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I have been given a box of amber and would love to make sure it is authentic. It was in a big cardboard box buried under hundreds of bagged and strands of beads. It belonged to an elderly woman, who passed it along to a man my husband works for, before she died. The man and his wife had it in their basement for years and years. They came across the large box a few days ago and gave it to my husband to give to me, knowing that I make jewelry. Here is a photo I took of the box they were in (postmarked 1976!) and most of the amber. There is also a baggie of faceted ones that is not pictured. I would be happy to send closer pics if it would help.

Thanks and I look forward to talking to you,
Christine

https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 8960_o.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:54 am 
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Hello Christine
There are several tests you can try to determine amber from plastic and here is an easy one, to make a first and fast sorting.
Put 150 grams of salt in 1 liter of water and mix well.
Then dip your piece of amber in this liquid. If it sinks, it is definitely not amber.
If it floats, chances are that it is amber, without totally eliminating plastic.
This of course works only with pieces without strings or settings of any kind.


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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:54 am 
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If you don't mind risking damage, try acetone (nail polish remover) It'll only damage it if it's plastic anyway, the acetone will soften plastic but not amber.


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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:44 pm 
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Wow!

What a lovely find.
Another test for amber......heat a needle and insert it into the bead via the drilled hole, if you smell pine scent its amber if its an acrid smell its plastic. If you have cabochons then do the test underneath where a hole won't be noticed.

You can also heat the amber by friction - rubbing vigourously and getting the smell of pine.

They does look very promising so good luck, pleasevtell us your findings.


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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:48 pm 
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Among the plastics polystyrene is the most difficult to distinguish from amber
The salt water test is of no use as its SG is in the same range as amber,so it is the acetone test
or hot needle test. A red hot needle will go into plastic, resin, or copal like gong into butter, but will hardly penetrate into amber

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Last edited by davegibson on Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:53 pm 
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Still, if the material sinks in salted water, it is definitely plastic.
If it floats, as I said, there is doubt.
A first sorting out can be worked out this way, without damaging the pieces.
You should resort to hot pin test when there is no other choice !


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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:07 pm 
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I guess not everyone feels this way, but if it was plastic I'd be tossing it in the bin anyway, so I don't mind using a test that will damage plastic.


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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:48 pm 
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davegibson wrote:
A red hot needle will go into plastic, resin, or copal like gong into butter, but will hardly penetrate into amber


I know it's just a typo, but now I really want to put a hot gong in butter. Does it need to be a traditional Chinese gong?

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 Post subject: identification of amber
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:00 pm 
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Hi Everybody,
how to identify amber from imitations,copal resin,kauri gum using both classic and advanced gem testing equipment.we have access to FTIR and UV-VIS.i work in a lab,and we have to find ways identify amber for our customers.we cant perform destructive tests with customers gemstones.please help us by providing us with any scientific information that may help.
with warm regards,
Yadhunath.R FGA


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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:07 pm 
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Hello cyber krystal and welcome.
I've moved your post to a recent discussion we were having on amber.
Hope some of these tips help. Start reading from the beginning of the thread.


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 Post subject: Baltic Amber
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:30 pm 
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Hi, I'm new here and hoping you can help me become more clear on verifying real amber from other faux products. I have this necklace and I can't figure out if it is red amber or a plastic of some sort. It picks up tissue very well but I know plastic can do they same. It does seem to have some inclusions. Any help would be very appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:26 pm 
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Ho icegold10.
You notice I've moved your post into Organic Gems.
It was clearly not a "Forum Disclaimer".

I think you will find a lot of the answers to your questions on this thread,


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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:58 pm 
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Thank you for moving it to the right area. I have tried to put pictures in but they don't seem to upload?


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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:33 pm 
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This should help
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=3679

If not, send me the pics and I'll get them uploaded for you
bav@gemologyonline.com


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 Post subject: Re: Amber question
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:08 am 
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I put them on Photobucket, hope this works.
http://s1255.photobucket.com/user/icedg ... ed%20amber
Click on link above to see pictures.


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