How Much Does It Cost To Repaint An Old Pickup How to Identify an Amber Gemstone

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How to Identify an Amber Gemstone

It is very difficult to recognize an original amber gemstone. This happens because the market is full of various imitations of amber which confuse the buyers.

One of its many imitations is called ‘Amberdan’. It has properties quite close to the natural gem. The way to test the originality is when the stone heats up and gives off a certain smell. When the odor smells like a mixture of plastic and amber, it suggests that a natural resin has been mixed with a plastic binder.

Amber is often confused with copal. These two stones are composed of very similar materials with almost identical origins, and therefore it is difficult to identify the original amber. The main difference is that while copals are only a few hundred thousand years old, ambers are several million years old.

Another imitation found on the market is that formed by pressed amber, or ‘ambroid’. This is created by fusing smaller pieces of the gem under heat. This can be distinguished from the original gem when you examine it under a microscope.

The ancient techniques for identifying this gem are still useful today. When rubbed hard on a piece of wool, it generates a static charge, which is enough to pick up a small piece of ash. When this gemstone is warm enough, it tends to emit a distinctive scent. These techniques will separate it from plastic imitations but will not distinguish it from copal.

It is difficult to distinguish this gem from copal. They share the same refractive index, specific gravity, and most other properties. However, copal tends to fluoresce whiter than amber under UV light. So it’s a judgment call that needs to be made after you’ve examined a sufficient number of samples to recognize the difference.

If one is unable to make the distinction based on fluorescence, a destructive test must be resorted to. In an inconspicuous area of ​​the stone, place a drop of acetone. Let it sit for three seconds, then wipe it off. Copal will have the surface damaged by acetone, while amber will show little or no change with the short exposure.

Another easy method of separating this gemstone from its plastic imitations is with a specific gravity solution. Boil the water and add as much salt as you can dissolve to create a useful test liquid. Most imitations will sink in this solution. This is because few plastics have a density as low as 1.05 and many can be lower than amber if they have air bubbles inside. So if your sample sinks, you can be sure it’s not real. If it floats, you need to determine if it’s plastic or amber.

There is another destructive test to separate the real amber from the fake ones. However, it should be done with care. The best part is that it can be done almost invisibly. Find a spot on the stone where a mark is as inconspicuous as possible. This can be on the edge, on the bottom, or in an area with scratches. Then heat the tip of a needle until it turns red. Tap the selected spot enough to release some smoke. Now he smells the smoke. If it is genuine amber, the smell is of fine incense. It’s plastic if it’s chemical and offensive. This is another reason to make your test as small as possible!

Another test to discover a fake piece is to identify the inclusions of insects present in the stone. If one finds this stone that includes, say, a modern house fly, this can easily alert you to the fact that the stone may be a fake. This is because the housefly did not exist millions of years ago, which means that the inclusion has fused into the stone and the stone is not genuine.

With these tips and techniques, it will be easier for you to identify and spot a real amber gemstone among fakes.

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