New Mineral Named After GIA’s John Koivula
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 Post subject: Amber Question
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:28 pm 
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I received this email today and was hoping some or amber enthusiasts could offer some assistance.
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wonder if you would kindly share your expertise with me and let me know if you accept the following statement and how you would test Amber to tell of amber is 'real'., as below or 'natural'

The Polish Chamber of Commerce states:

Pressed Amber is made from small pieces and rejects that are melted together under high pressure. It is generally even in color. Smaller pieces of high quality pressed amber are difficult to distinguish from Natural Baltic Amber but for the fact that it is almost always uniform in shape.

Beads and the settings in most jewelry are pressed. That is simply because pressing gives manufacturers uniform pieces that can be used in production. And it also holds down the cost of the end product.”

Careful: the best varieties of pressed Baltic amber are not discernible from natural Baltic amber. After the treatment, it still possesses the features of “succinite”, so it is permitted to be called “real amber”.


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 Post subject: Re: Amber Question
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:17 am 
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Well, as being a former Amber geek and living at the Baltic Sea I would not call pressed amber "real amber" I would call it... Pressed amber.

It is a bit tricky to distinguish but in my experience the dark brownish red baltic amber which is transparent with or without "sun spangles" inside is heated and many times pressed. Transparent orange to yellow with many "sun spangles" are also heated and might be also pressed. The best way to learn is to handle lots of amber. I used to carve and polish amber a lot during the 80's. I love the smell of amber when grinding it :)

The natural type of inclusions found in amber, water drops, insects, seeds, dust etc get distorted and many times completely destroyed by heat and pressing. I have never seen any nice examples of natural inclusions in the heated and pressed stuff.

Guess some other geeks can chime in with more info on this.

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 Post subject: Re: Amber Question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:55 am 
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I agree with Conny - it seems that most Baltic amber is treated in some way. Here are two interesting links

http://www.jtv.com/library/copal-vs-amber-2,default,pg.html

http://museumcatalogues.getty.edu/amber/techessay/

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