How to distinguish genuine amber from fakes? If there is demand, then it needs to be satisfied. For modern businesses it is the law. Want amber necklace in beautiful yellow stone? Please! Can’t afford the necklace, we will be able to pick up your option jewelry cheaper – only buy! Amber realities of the market are such that anyone who wants to buy jewelry of precious fossilized resin, can afford it – regardless of the level of material prosperity. However, being at the trade counter you should remember:the cheaper amber jewelry, the higher the probability to buy a fake. Especially, if the trade moves somewhere in the underpass.
Alas! The market is full of imitations of gems! Some synthetic resin quite plausible to simulate the color and texture of natural amber. When buying jewelry fossil stone uninformed consumer is often in danger of being deceived if not, then plunged into confusion. Someone wrongly believes that in an antique shop a chance to buy amber counterfeiting is reduced to zero. This thought is wrong! Forgery existed before. Artificial amber was made from bakelite, casein, polyester and epoxy resins, mixed in different proportions.
We also use other materials, amber is not having any relation. How to be in this situation? How to distinguish genuine amber from fakes? Knowing some of the techniques and tricks, you easily determine the authenticity of amber. Chief assistant in this case is “responsible investigation” – amber, with its unique and unique physical and chemical properties. Here are some methods that will help you to distinguish the true gem from an imitation. Each of these methods is based on specific properties of amber.
Appearance. Often fakes have noticeable multiple inclusion of air bubbles, easily obvious to the naked eye. Tightly Packed so-called “sequins” in the stone (round vesicles), can talk about how fake (the material BERNET) and calcined natural amber. Uniform – without colour, without any textures – colour beads of amber should alert the buyer. Craftsmen, however, trumps unadulterated and characteristic amber texture! Bakelite beads, for example, are clearly aimed layered pattern, most often oriented along the holes for the thread.
Natural amber, especially one that has not been subjected to refining by heat treatment, fake looks richer. Natural stone has an interesting color with the chaotic transitions of shades from one to another. The array is always endowed with unique pattern peculiar to the natural origin of amber. Weight. Amber is a gemstone of organic origin. Its density is small. Large beads made of natural amber (with a total mass of 70 – 80 grams) look very impressive. Fakes made of plastic and glass, having higher density, modest in size but weigh a lot.
At the touch of warm amber, because it has a weak thermal conductivity unlike glass, whose thermal conductivity is much higher. Test the hardness of amber. Amber density on the Mohs scale is 2.0 – 2.5. This means that it is impossible to scratch with a fingernail. But Copal is similar to amber resin bean – on the contrary, can be easily damaged by the same nail. Its hardness is only 1.5 units Mohs. Glass is significantly harder than amber: this difference is felt even fingers. The test for scratch.
The tip of a sharp knife or razor need in an inconspicuous spot to cause a scratch. Real amber will crumble small pieces that can be ground into a fine powder. The plastic elastic will leave shavings. The glass is not scratched. Float amber in salt water, or the so-called “water treatment”. Natural amber in most cases, floats in salt water and sinks in fresh water. Amber density according to sources – 1,05 – 1,09, maximum 1.3 g/cm3. The maximum density of the salt solution of the water – 1,1972.
Purely theoretically it turns out that some samples of amber may still be denser salt solution. In this case, they will drown. If there is a suspicion that the test specimen is still natural, it’s worth checking it in other ways. Attention! Test with float amber in salt water is impossible if the amber are framed in metal or are adorned with heavy decorative elements made of other materials. How to prepare a solution?
Dissolve in a glass of water with 8-10 teaspoons of salt. If you need more water, make a saturated solution (with undissolved salt crystals at the bottom of the vessel). Natural amber in salt water should float. Forgery in such solution will sink. This test will identify glass, bakelite, celluloid, imitation of epoxy resins and rap. But it will not help you to identify Copal and pressed amber. After the experience of amber must be rinsed with fresh water and dry. Electrostatic charging. If natural amber intense rubbing on wool or silk, it becomes negatively charged.
This property can be checked by attaching an electrified amber to little pieces of paper. They have to rush to the surface of the amber or adhere. Some plastics have such properties. But amber expressed it more clearly. Electrostatic method makes it possible to detect forgery, in which the properties of electrification are completely absent. Kopal (selling under the guise of “young” or “immature” amber) when friction is not electrified. The smell of the friction and burning.
Vigorous rubbing amber on cloth or palm of your hand to significantly increase the temperature of the stone helps to experience a mild resinous flavor, like the smell of pine or turpentine. If you do the same with Kopal, he softened, and its surface becomes sticky. Any synthetic will give yourself a sharp chemical smell. If you put the hot tip of the needle to the surface of the amber, there will be white smoke with a characteristic smell of rosin. The scent of rosin strong enough to understand the plastic in your hands or real amber.
However, amber has differences in tone of smell. All the varieties of amber combines a pleasant, slightly sour resinous scent. Synthetics in a similar experiment will melt faster, giving a chemical smell that is unpleasant. There is an opportunity to set fire to the amber? Here’s what you should see, if the stone is natural. Amber starts to light up about three seconds after contact with fire. If it leave on the fire for a second or two longer, and then withdraw the flame, it will continue to burn on their own, quite intensely.
In the hearth burning amber boiling. Amber black smoke – that is, while burning amber smokes. As soon as you extinguish a burning amber, the rest of the smoke emitted from heated shrapnel, will amaze you with its purity of whiteness. The test solvent. Amber is relatively resistant to alcohol and solvents – while almost all plastics undergo degradation when in contact with acetone. Acetone or Polish remover can damage plastic imitations, changing their color or by creating a rough, Matt surface in contact. By placing a drop of ether, or a solvent of 95% ethanol on the surface of the amber, you will not see any reactions.
Real amber does not break up and become sticky. Otherwise behave in pressed amber. If you RUB a cube of amber with a cloth soaked with ether, the stone surface will become sticky. Some plastics don’t react with alcohol but soluble in acetone. Glass fakes do not react with either of these reagents. But dug would be irreparably damaged by any reagent! Note! Do not get chemical experiments with face of amber jewellery. Prolonged exposure of reagents and natural amber can be stained. 3-5 seconds is usually sufficient to recognize a fake.
Light, luminescence. In the light of a UV lamp amber in varying degrees fluorescent either. In transparent samples visible bluish glow of different intensities. With a decrease in the transparency of the stone the glow effect is weakened. Smoky translucent amber lumines cent pale blue color. Under UV exposure well discern the structure of the wave-like incrustations of amber striation, transitions due to different degrees of turbidity. The “cloud” and “bone” amber glow milky white color with a faint bluish tinge. Raw amber with so-called sugar crust remains luminescent brown tones.
The synthetic resin bakelite in ultraviolet rays inert, casein simulate glow yellow. In conclusion… When buying amber jewelry in the shop you don’t always have the opportunity to do the above manipulations. The seller will not allow you to ruin decoration with a hot needle or a sharp metal edge. However, nothing prevents you to examine in detail amber jewelry! If the seller has a detector of counterfeit banknotes, ask him to check the amber on the subject of luminescence. A good trader does not need to refuse you. Common sense and a bit of theory will help you to understand the situation. A chance to buy a fake will be reduced to a minimum.