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About Amber

What is Amber

Tree resin which was generated by pines tens of millions of years ago went through high pressures and temperatures from the stratum and finally became fossils. Due to different types of Amber, there are various colors. The most common one is yellow, and others include brown, orange, red, black, and milky. Most Amber is transparent. In the process of becoming Amber, tree resin may cover insects or plants occasionally, so there are some small creatures seen in Amber.

The Origin of Amber

Amber originated from the coast of Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. It was formed from the tree resin produced by the trees forty million years ago, and then it was covered with sea and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Lapped and cast up on the coast, it was found by fishermen and called Amber, which means "the drifter at sea" in Classical Arabic. Amber is regarded as the cherish treasure in Northern Europe, so there is even Amber Road connected with the important cities for businessmen to transport goods.

How to Identify Amber

The following methods can be used by yourself to distinguish genuine amber from fake.
  • Non-Destructive Testing

    • Specific Gravity Testing

      The specific gravity of Amber is about 1.05 to 1.1. Put the Amber into the liquid that the proportion of salt and water is 1:4. If it’s genuine Amber, it will float on the liquid. The fake will sink to the bottom.
    • Ultraviolet Rays Testing

      If the authentic Amber is illuminated by ultraviolet rays, it will show fluorescent light, white, blue, green, and so on. The imitation will not reflect any color when illuminated.
  • Destructive Testing

    • Hot Needle Testing

      Heat the needle and insert it into the surface of Amber. If the Amber is genuine, its surface will turn black, not stick to the needle and even emit the smell of pines. The surface of the fake will melt and stick to the needle.
    • Blade Testing

      Use a sharp blade to scratch the surface of Amber. The authentic one will produce lumps and bits, but the plastic one.