Thursday, August 25, 2011

Amber Buying Guide

This Review was written by my husband long time go for our ebay store. We no longer have our ebay store but I think his review on Amber is still valuable for many amber lovers. So, here you are ...

What is Amber

Amber, also known as "Liquid Gold Frozen in Time", is fossilized resin from ancient conifer trees from millions of years ago. Kings and Queens prized Amber to be more valuable than gold. Amber was formed from tree resin and not tree sap. When the tree resins dripped down the trees and to the ground trapping debris such as insects, flowers, mosses, leaves, seeds and all other like materials that were in its path and preserved them forever. There are even scorpions and small lizards that have been entrapped. Many extinct Species of flowers and insects have been discovered, that have been preserved in Amber. Amber also has inclusions called sun spots, which are small round or oblong disc shapes. The small sun spots, which are usually clustered together have a shiny & glittery appearance. The Gemstone Amber is one of the birthstones listed for the sun sign of Taurus, please do not confuse this with traditionally known Zodiac Birthstones. The resins became fossilized through a natural polymerization of the original organic compounds during the course of many millions of years. A Specific time period has not been established. Scientifically known to have been formed 30 to 90 million years ago during the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods, even the Jurassic period. I have been fascinated with everything Amber since I was in school many years ago. Over the last 30 years, I have acquired a very extensive collection from around the world.

Identifying Fakes & The Biggest Amber Deception No One Talks About

OK, this is probably what most of you reading this want to know, right?! I am not going to talk about refractive indexes, density, gravity, etc, because that will do you absolutely no good when trying to identify "Real Amber" when buying on the Internet or even after you have it at home. I will give easy ways and precautions to identify the real deal from the fraudsters and I will give some pictures to help. First and foremost, look at where the seller is located. China and India sell the most fake Amber on the Internet and in the big cities around the world I have ever seen, and they will advertise it as "Real" "Authentic" "Genuine" "Grade A" "Natural" "Baltic Amber". What they do not say is that the item is an "Authentically Real & Natural Genuine Grade A piece of plastic!!!! For someone who knows what real Amber looks like, a picture is worth a thousand words, but for those who don't, it can and is very deceiving. The most common and easiest way to identify fakes are the ones with bugs and sun spots in them.
First, the Amber with bugs. When bugs/insects got caught up in the real Resin/Amber, their legs, antenna, and wings are caught in distressing character. The fake Amber bugs/insects look as if they were paid big bucks for their frozen pose in time, every part of there body is displayed perfectly. The same principle should be taken into consideration with flowers and scorpions.
Second, Amber with Sun Spots, also referred to as Sun Burst. Not all Genuine Amber have them, please keep that in mind. In real Amber, these inclusions are very small, too small in size and are irregular. In the fake Amber, this is hard to achieve. The fake Amber will have large disc shapes that are very uniform and perfect looking.
Third, This is the biggest worldwide Amber scam and no one talks about it!!!. Pendants, earrings, bracelets and rings that are stated to be red/cherry, blue, green and cognac. This is a more clever technique using real Amber. The real Amber used in this technique is usually lemon/yellow or light honey in colour. What is done to produce the fake red/cherry, blue green and cognac is: the back side of each piece is burned and/or has a jewellers colour paste that reflects through the light coloured Amber to give these colour effects and is used almost in all Amber jewellery that have a silver, gold or some other type setting. There are several ways to identify this. Look at the back of the piece, and you will see it is very different from the front side. You will see if it was burned or has a smooth dark coloured finish and that is what is giving the colour that is not real. The second way is, turn the piece sideways and view the Amber stones from side to side and you will see that the real Amber colour is lemon/yellow or light honey. This technique is widely used to reduce the cost of manufacturing the jewellery and is past on to the consumer as real red/cherry blue green and cognac, at higher prices and making it appear as if you are getting a great deal. Using these genuine colours would be very very expensive. If you already own Amber jewelry or are buying it in person, check using the method I just described and if you are purchasing this kind of jewellery online, ask if it is "colour enhanced", because that is never stated. These pieces are still gorgeous, but you're not getting what is advertised and you are being duped with real Amber with fake colours!!! The majority of this jewellery is manufactured in Poland and other New England states and Thailand.

How Amber Was Formed

Amber is one of the few precious substances on earth we consider a gem which is not of mineral origin. There are a couple of scientific theories as to how Amber came to be. I will share the most popular and widely discussed theory here. When a tree is injured or is subjected to a radical climate change, it will produce resin. The radical climate change that took place millions of years ago, during different periods in time, produced large amounts of resin. Amber deposits and its availability, scarcity and protection will be discussed later and that is some amazing information in itself. Many large Amber deposit are sea born, meaning that rivers and stream carried the Amber to seas and oceans. The most famous and sought after is Baltic Amber from the Baltic Sea and is considered the finest Amber in the world. There are Amber deposits worldwide that run in large veins underground similar to that of minerals. It is widely known that Amber was produced from conifer trees, mainly the Pinus Succinifera because of its large secretions of resin, conifers are needle bearing trees. However it is known by certain colors that deciduous trees are included such as cherry and plum trees. Deciduous are leaf bearing trees. Sub tropical Amber came from a wide variety of conifer and deciduous trees.

**Hope this is useful for you!**