Our Amber Authenticity, or "How do I know this isn't fake?"
We buy our items exclusively from vendors accredited through the International Amber Association (http://www.amber.org.pl/firmy). This means that all amber you receive is not pressed amber, amber surrogates, subfossil resins (copals) and contains no synthetic resins.
If you'd like to do an informal at-home test, try one of two things :
- Rub the amber vigourously against a piece of wool to create a static charge. Then hold the amber about an inch away from a small scrap of paper (pretty small, depending on the size of your stone). If the amber is real, it should lift the scrap right up. Plastic will not create static cling.
- Rub a small amount of acetone (using a Q-tip) onto the surface of the amber. Acetone will not damage amber, but it will melt plastic. (Make sure you clean your amber after performing this test)
Of course, these tests are just informal. If you really have doubts, please take it to get tested! We guarantee it's the real deal.
Amber is a light, organic substance that is usually yellow, orange or red in color and often transparent. Amber is a fossilized resin that once exuded out of the bark of trees. As resin is exuded from trees, it eventually hardens into copal (a common counterfeit of amber). The copal then undergoes the process of amberization, and is considered true amber once it has completely polymerized and is inert.
Amber may contain insects, organisms, pieces of bark or leaves and other orangic matter. In addition to traditional colors, amber can also be white, green, or even blue!
The only process (other than shaping and polishing) our vendors use on their amber is the inclusion of circular, radial cracks called sun spangles, which are made by heating and cooling the amber.
The discoidal fissures or sun spangles found in amber are believed to be caused by droplets of trapped water and air, which form the flattened to circular shapes after heating the amber. These sun spangles were produced from the many air bubbles. When the sun spangles have brown edges, the amber was probably "clarified." Clarified amber occurs when the rough material is immersed in oil (rapeseed preferred) and slowly heated. The natural air bubbles give amber the cloudy appearance and clarifying fills these air spaces with oil.
Source: Ross, Andrew. Amber. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999. Print.
Taking Care of Your Purchase
- Keep amber away from direct sunlight
- Store separately from other jewelry pieces to prevent scratches
- Keep at room temperature and try to limit exposure to temperature extremes
- Clean amber with a mild solution of soapy water and a soft cloth (ideally flannel)
- Polish amber by applying a dot of olive oil to a soft cloth and rubbing the surface of the stone
- DO NOT use ultrasonic cleaners, jewelry polishing cloths or other chemical cleaners on amber. You may use jewelry polishing cloths or substances to clean the metal around your stone only