Researching and Selling Real Amber and Imitations – Plastic Amber, Copal, and Lucite

Check out the other posts in the Amber Series (listed at bottom)

Lucite Amber Beads

This first necklace was a bit tricky for me.  It has beautiful cognac amber colored beads.  It felt lightweight and under a UV light small portions or inclusions glowed, but I noticed cracks similar to resin beads.  I then began to wonder if it could be lucite.  I couldn’t find anything about inclusions in lucite fluorescing, but the more research I did the more it looked like amber confetti lucite.  I picked this necklace up at a garage sale for $1.

Divot. Melted-looking spot where someone may have tested it for amber.

Surface cracks probably from high heat and pressure from creation.

Dark Honey Brown / Cognac Baltic Amber

I found this 925 silver amber pendant and earring set at a garage sale for $5.  I was almost positive when I bought them that they were amber.  The dark brown color and smooth formed shapes were created using heat and pressure, likely using chips of amber that were too small to be used to create pieces on their own.

With testing I found these to be electrostatic, a feature of true amber, and that they fluoresce or glow under a UV black light.



Mystery Bead

I thought this bead might be bakelite because I found some very similar beads listed on Ebay and Etsy as Bakelite.  The layers formed throughout this bead led me to the conclusion that it was not amber, however under the UV light, certain layers did glow.  I never could figure out what substance could be creating the glow, but there are certain plastics that fluoresce under a black light, so it may have been one of them  If you know anything more about what the piece might be, please leave a comment.  This came in a lot of amber beads, bone, ivory, and garnet beads that I purchased at a garage sale for $8.

Native American/Southwest Honey Amber Earrings

These earrings were clearly amber.  The honey amber color, the non-uniformity of the surface.  They tested positive for being both electrostatic and glowing in the UV light.  Figuring out the maker and researching her was the next bit of fun.  I bought these at a garage sale for $1.


Rough Raw Natural Cognac Amber Beads and Chunk

These unpolished, untreated amber chips have been drilled with holes and may had, at one time, been on a necklace or had been intended to be used to create jewelry.  These both fluoresced under the black UV light and floated in the salt water solution.

The large chunk measured about 1.5″ tall and 1″ wide. I purchase both the beads and chunk  in a lot of amber beads, bone, ivory, and garnet beads that I purchased at a garage sale for $8.

Honey Amber Ring

This honey amber ring was so tarnished it was almost black all the way around.  I don’t normally polish my silver unless it looks like this one did when I found it.  A little bit of tarnish can add character and some buyers prefer it, however this one was just filthy!

Once it was clean I noticed that the stamps were on the outside of the band on the back.

Other Amber & Imitation Amber Pieces from this Series:

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