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How To Identify True Amber?

Difference between true amber and its imitations.

  • The real amber has no smell, and the fake often smells of "wood".
  • Natural fossil pitch has a uniform structure, while a fake is wavy.
  • In case of copal resin, it can be easily distinguished when heating on a plate — the real, authentic amber when heated smells of a carnation, but copal smells of medicine.
  • At a dropping on copal some alcohol or acetone, a noticeable trace is left, while on amber isn't present.
  • True amber is capable of accumulating a static charge, and copal is not.
  • The real amber floats in strong salt solution, and artificial sinks.
  • Under an ultraviolet the real amber radiates a blue light, whereas a fake shows any other shade.
  • The glass fake won't have scratches after being punctured by a copper needle and on amber there will be a trace left.
  • At a break plastic peels off, whereas amber will typically crumble.
  • The pressed amber or amberoid is characterised by dye clumps, heterogeneity of structure, unevenness of colouring, but the real amber has none of such properties.
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