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About Raw Amber

Natural Unprocessed Raw Amber (Succinite)


What Is Amber?

Amber can be and should be discussed at length. It is a special gemstone that requires special approach. However, in order not to tire the reader,
we will just briefly review the things that were said before us, occasionally adding some new information, too.

It is widely accepted that amber is a “fossilized resin” (a sophisticated term with a tinge of surrogate), presumably originating from prehistoric pine
called Pinus succinifera back in the Paleogene period, i.e. 40 to 50 mln years ago. However, it should be mentioned that this dating of origin
is evident only for the amber found in the Baltic region.

The general age limits of the European raw amber are much wider, varying from 20 to 300 mln years.

Amber is a combination of organic acids, which contains carbohydrates, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur, and other mineral substances.
A characteristic feature of the Baltic amber, as well as some Ukrainian varieties, is succinic acid content, hence the name succinite.
The succinic acid content can vary from 3 to 8.2 %. Substantially, amber can be reckoned to the group of organic minerals.
It is classified according to Dana (Nr. and Strunz (NNr 10.C) classification systems, though with the N status
(cataloged but not recognized by IMA / CNMMN as a mineral).

IMA– (International Mineralogical Association)
CNMMN– (Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names)

Therefore amber officially remains a “fossilized resin.”
The chemical formula of amber is quite simple: C10H16O4.
Its crystal structure is amorphic.

Its color range can include: translucent colorless, tawny, yellow, melichrous (up to 250 shades), greenish yellow, black, brownish red, light blue.
Amber’s color is the main criterion used when defining its price. Completely monochromatic amber is very rarely found.

Transparency:transparent, semitransparent, and frosted opaque
Density:1,1—1.18 g/cm3
Luster:typical of resins
Hardness:2—2.5 units of the Mohs scale (transparent amber is the hardest)
Habit:the forms of amber can be divided into 2 categories: inside-trunk and on-the-trunk.

As a rule, pieces of amber that were formed inside a trunk are shaped as slabs or nodules incrusted in the bark, under the bark, or in the cavities
of the tree trunk. They have no insect inclusions. Usually this amber belongs either to the “Bastard” or the “Bone” variety.

Raw Amber in the form of sinters, drops, or stalactites was formed on the tree surface. As a rule, it is transparent with inclusions of insect and
plant fragments.The sinters were formed as a result of excretion of consecutive portions of resin and their layering on top of the previous
hardened slabs. Not suitable for processing.

The drops were formed as a result of excretion of resin on freely hanging branches of the tree. They have a typical form, sometimes slightly
flattened due to falling of the drop. The size of the drops can reach 3-5 cm. Their structure is dense and uniform. They are an ideal material
for jewelry.

Amber stalactites were formed as a result of short-time resin excretion and layering on top of the previous slabs, which were not hardened yet
(this is what differs them from sinters). Their inner structure is very interesting. They are rarely found.

The size of amber pieces range from several millimeters to 30–40 cm, weighing up to 5 kg or even more.
Depending on the region, the average weight of raw amber pieces is 50–100 grams.

Baltic amber. Detail of the plate with the remains of a tree. Remains of a tree in amber. Perhaps Amberpine (Pinus succinifera). Remains of a tree in baltic amber. Amber with animal and plant inclusions. Baltic amber in the form of icicles (amber stalactite). Baltic amber in the form of drops of about 1-1.5 cm. Baltic amber in the form of sag. Not suitable for processing. Layered raw amber. Baltic amber. Clearly visible separation of each layer. Baltic rough amber. Nature plays.




The Main Deposits of Amber

Before describing amber deposits, we should define the term ‘deposit’ and explain its difference from the term ‘occurrence’. The geologists
of different countries agree that accumulation of a certain mineral can be called a deposit only if the quantity of that mineral is sufficient for
long-term industrial mining.

Occurrences of amber were confirmed in practically every region of the world, but the majority of them have no commercial value. As a rule,
that natural amber is totally unsuitable for jewelry and artistic industry, but surely is of interest for scientists and collectors around the world.
Until roughly the 80ies of the previous century only the amber from the Baltic region was conventionally considered real. The scientific
research in the fields of chemistry, geology, and paleontology over the recent decades disproves this assumption.

Based on the papers by the German biochemistry professor D. Schlee (1978-1980) the name amber can be used for any fossilized resin
aged 1 million years or more.

To avoid ambiguity, natural amber is now classified by regions of origin.
The most popular varieties are:

  • Baltic amber (including the Russian, Polish, German/Saxonian, Swedish, and Danish varieties)
  • Ukrainian amber
  • Dominican amber


Global deposits of amber







Let’s consider the major deposits in more detail.

The Primoskoye-Palminicken deposit is situated on the Baltic coast 40 km away from Kaliningrad, on the Samland peninsular, near Yantarnyi town.
This deposit is considered as the greatest in the world. The old Palminicken mine was suspended – the opencast mine was water-flooded.
Currently the mining takes place at the Primorskiy and Plyazhnyi allocations. The data of geologic examinations show several other prospect areas
with total deposits of 300 thousand tons of the C2 category.
The estimated reserves of the Primorskoye deposit are: 118 thousand tons of A2, B, and C1 categories, and 52 thousand tons of C2 category.

A1 category: prepared deposits
A2 category: explored deposits
B category: visible deposits that can be extracted
C1 category: supposed deposits
C2 category: perspective deposits

The deposits are exploited by means of an opencast mine with the area of almost 1,500,000 square meters.

The length of the opencast mine is about 1200 meters, width – from 800 to 1500 meters in some allotments.
The layer of amber-containing greensand with thickness of 0.5 to 15 meters is located 40 to 60 meters deep (at times up to 100 meters deep).
The average content of amber per one cubic meter is 500 to 600 grams, reaching 4.5 kilograms in some allotments.

The size of pieces ranges from several millimeters to 15-20 centimeters. There are also unique specimens reaching up to 30-40 cm.
The majority of raw amber mined here is succinite – it amounts to 98%; the rest 2% is gedanite. The annual yield ranges from 300 to 350 tons.

Mining technology:

A high pressure jet gun is used to erode the barren rock layer, which covers the amber-containing layer; the barren rock becomes hydromixture,
which is then cleansed and pumped into the sea. Then the greensand is diluted till the liquid state and is pumped with the dredge pump to the factory
for dressing. At the factorythe liquidized greensand is passed through a grating with mesh size 5 cm, which retains the coarse fraction of the mineral;
afterwards it is passed through a fine-mesh screen for removing the dissolved barren rock. The remaining amber then undergoes many iterations
of tossing and drying.

The amber cleansed from the sandy-argillaceous barren rock is directed to the mechanical picker – a system of screens with different mesh sizes,
where the amber is separated by vibration into fractions of different sizes. Apart from the official mining by the government-owned corporation
„Amber complex,” illegal mining also takes place in the region.
According to the local press, the number of those opencast mini-mines is up to several dozens. The Federal Security Service and Russian Police are
fighting the „artisanal miners,” who mine amber illegally. It can be assumed that one third of the world’s annual amber yield is mined illegally. According
to estimates by the field experts, the annual losses caused by illegal mining exceed 150 tons.

Baltic amber is mined here The largest deposit of amber in the world Open-cut mining Open-cut mining-2 Primorsky pit Primorsky pit birds-eye view Amber - yearly extraction of fractions in percent Schematic section of blue earth Amber fabric in Yantarny Town. Amber Museum. The unique Baltic amber



The Klesovo-Dubrovitsy deposit is situated in the Rivne region in the North-Western Ukraine, in the so-called amber triangle – the settlements of Sarny,
Klesovo, and Dubrovitsy. The shallow occurrence of amber in this region makes its mining much cheaper than at the Kaliningrad deposit. However,
this factor has no significant influence on the market prices for the Ukrainian amber, since the amount of raw material mined here is quite small.
The total area of the deposit, including the Klesovo opencast mine, is around 200 square kilometers. The depth of amber layers occurrence ranges
from 3 to 10 meters. The average raw amber content is 250g per 1 cubic meter of rock.

There are allotments with amber content up to 1000g per cubic meter. As a rule, the size of pieces ranges from 1 to 10 cm, though occasionally there
are pieces up to 15 cm in size, weighing over 1 kg. The area of the opencast mine in the settlement of Klesovo is about 2,500,000 m2; its depth is about
50 meters. The estimated reserves of this deposit exceed 100 tons. Over 95% of the raw amber mined in this region, Polesye, is of best jewelry quality
and has a unique range of colors.

The official annual yield of raw amber in Ukraine ranges from 3 to 5 tons. The total Ukrainian amber deposits are roughly estimated at 1500 tons.
Just as in Russia, illegal mining is in full swing here. According to conservative estimates, the annual losses of the state caused by illegal raw amber
business are around 10 mln UAH.

Ukrainian Amber Deposit Open-cut mining in Klesiv So is mined Ukrainian Succinite So is mined Ukrainian Succinite - 2 Bulk of blue earth Stop. Restricted Area! Klesiv deposit - new open pit Old pit after recultivation Klesiv Deposit Old Open-Pit Amber Mining in Klesiv Ukrainian amber (succinite)








The town of Bitterfeld is situated in the Eastern part of the country, in the Saxony-Anhalt region (a so called Saxonian amber). Initially the mine was
established for mining brown coal, and only later the only German deposit of amber was discovered here. The characteristics of the German
succinite are similar to those of the Kaliningrad deposit. Its age is about 22 mln years. The interesting feature of this deposit is the fact that along
with pieces of amber with thick oxide crust, a lot of pieces without it were found here, too. As a rule, the absence of the oxide crust is characteristic
only of the marine amber. The plant and animal inclusions are practically identical. From 1975 to 1990 around 410 tons of the Baltic amber were
mined here. In 1998 the allotment was fully remediated by means of water-flooding. The supposed remaining reserves comprise about 1000 tons.
Today the former Goitzsche Mine is a famous destination for recreation and sport tourism.

Opencast Mine Goitzsche before flooding Opencast Mine Goitzsche Mine Preparation for Recultivation Total flooded area are 13,32 km2 Flooding of Mine Goitzsche Flooding of quarry lasted 4 years Amber Sea Schematic cut Saxony Amber Baltic Succinite from Bitterfeld Amber Museum in Bitterfeld (Saxony-Anhalt) Bitterfeld succinite Natural German Amber Amber - all as in Yantarny Town Такого янтаря на дне озера лежит около 1000 тон



Dominican Republic
The deposit of amber is located on the Hispaniola island, on the territory of two countries: the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Despite of the fact that
the formational layers of the amber-containing sandstone are located on the territory of both countries, active mining takes place only in the
Dominican Republic. Deposit’s resting place: the Western and the Eastern parts of the Cordilleras mountain range, at heights from 500 to 1200 m.
Age: 15 to 40 million years.
Plant of origin: Hymenaea protera.
Color range: yellowish red, tawny, green, and the famous blue.
About 90% of the Dominican amber pieces are transparent, with numerous inclusions of plant and animal origin.
Peculiar feature of mining: since the deposit is located in a mountainous region that is difficult to access, the opencastmining is impossible.
The mining is done by small crews of miners who often have very vague idea of mining art. As a rule, the disorganized day drifts, mini mines,
and narrow tunnels, the depth of which often reaches 100 meters, are not suitable for 100% extraction of the material. In total, over 3,000
people take part in mining and processing of the deposit. The commercial value of the Dominican amber is second to the Baltic one.

Dominican Amber Extracting Blue amber is only here. Dominican Amber Dimensions Of Dominican Amber - from 2 to 400 grams and above. Dominican Amber. Color Range - From Yellow to Blue.



The Baltic Amber or the Ukrainian Burshtyn*?

Many our clients often ask the question: „Which kind of amber is better?”
This question is similar to another one: which sugar is sweeter – white or brown? All depends on the purposes which you are buying the
material for. If you are a collector and a piece of a Baltic amber is of crucial importance for you – that’s quite understandable.
But if you are choosing natural amber for further processing, the main criteria should be external characteristics and quality, not the region of origin.
Following the conventional stereotype, many customers ask only for the Baltic amber, while the market analysis over the recent months shows that
the Ukrainian amber (the Rovno amber) is enjoying growing popularity and increasing demand. It is traditionally considered that natural amber from
the Baltic region is the best of the best…

So, once again, which sugar is sweeter?
In this article we will try to describe the numerous similarities and differences between the Baltic and the Ukrainian amber. Many scientists still
consider that the Ukrainian amber is of Baltic origin and was moved to the modern Ukrainian territory with glaciers and currents. Today this view is
disproved, and the Rovno amber is considered as a separate variety.

The geological age of amber cannot be defined by the stone itself. Here we have to use the data of the two fields of science: geology and
paleontology. Studying the sedimentary rock in which the amber was found can provide only approximate age estimate of the natural amber,
especially it was displaced; however, paleontologists who study the insect and plant inclusions in the amber can get more accurate data concerning
its age and place of origin – or, to put it more precisely, tell which region it belongs to. And this is where the differences between the Ukrainian
burshtyn* and the Baltic amber become more visible.

The natural amber of Baltic origin is displaced, which means the place of its origin and fossilization is not the Baltic region. Meanwhile, the Rovno
succinite is believed to originate from the region where it currently is. While studying the amber inclusions, scientists discovered that a number of
insect species characteristic of the Eocene epoch are present in the amber from both regions. However, the Rovno amber also contains some
insects that are not typical for the Baltic region. The structure of both varieties of amber is the same, but the color range of the Rovno amber is
more diverse.


So let us define the individual features of both varieties.



Both the Rovno and the Baltic amber have the same origin. They originate from the same plant of the so-called amber forest,
which grew on the territory of modern Europe dozens of millions years ago.
Both varieties are succinite
They are of similar age: from the Eocene epoch, around 40 to 50 mln years old
Their hardness is similar, 2.25 units of the Mohs scale
The density of both varieties is identical and equals to 1.04—1.05 g/cm3
The physicochemical and X-ray characteristics of the Rovno amber and the amber from the Primorskoye deposit in the Yantarnyi
settlement (Kaliningrad) are equal too
The zoo- and phyto-inclusions are found both in the Baltic and the Ukrainian amber, though they are more frequent in the Baltic variety



As a rule, the Baltic amber is of small or medium size; fractions above 1 kg are rarely found. Pieces above 1 kg are equaled to gemstones
and cannot be sold officially. Big-sized fractions of the Ukrainian amber are found much more frequently. Not long ago 3 perfectly formed
pieces, 5 kg each, were found within one day. Fractions of 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 g are found almost daily.

The Baltic amber is either totally devoid of weathering rind, or has a thin rind of 0.3 to 1 mm; as a rule, the rind is of brownish yellow color.
The weathering rind of the Rovno amber ranges from 0.5 to 2.5 mm and usually is of reddish, orange, brown, or sometimes dark brown color.

Though the color gamma of both varieties is similar, the Ukrainian amber has many more nuances – around 200 shades in total.
The color variations of the Ukrainian amber are extraordinary: from transparent with red shade, pale white, melichrous, yellowish white,
yellow, and yellowish green to cherry-red. Sometimes there are bluish variations as well.
The amber of yellowish green color is unique – it can be found only in the Polesye deposit (the Rovno amber).

Regardless of the samedensity, the Baltic amber is more fragile and should be processed more carefully.
The Rovno amber is easily polished, drilled, and has more uniform color structure, which is important for the production of high-quality
jewelry. This quality plays a very important part for selecting material for amber necklaces, when gradient change of color is necessary.
The characteristics of the Ukrainian amber make it very similar to the Jutland amber from Denmark.

The process of melting finishes at: 520–550° С for the Ukrainian amber (from the Klesovo deposit),
and 508– 525° С for the Baltic amber (from the Primorskoye deposit).

The hardness of each amber variation can be different. The transparent ambers are considered to be the hardest.
On average, the hardness of the Baltic amber (from the Klesovo deposit) is approximately 28.9 kg/mm2,
while the hardness of the Ukrainian amber (from the Klesovo deposit) is 29.2 kg/mm2.

*The Ukrainian word for amber (author’s note).




Types and Varieties of Amber

By external characteristics an amber can be divided into two main types:

1. Rounded-shaped pieces, the so-called flow-rolls, that where formed as a result of long-time displacement.
Their surface is relatively smooth, without considerable cavities or hollows.

2. Angular pieces, the surface of which has strongly marked hollows and grooves


As a rule, around 2/3 of all the amber pieces that are found belong to the first type. We cannot say that rounded-shaped pieces are more
valuable than angular ones. Depending on the jeweler’s professional training and qualification, the amber of both kinds can be processed
with minimal waste products.

All the excavated raw amber is classified into the following categories by the purpose of use:

The artistic and decorative amber, or the jewelry amber
Industrial amber

As a rule, the industrial amber is of small fraction, black or contaminated, and not suitable for jewelers. It is used for manufacturing of
high-quality lacquer, which is then used for manufacturing of musical instruments and luxury cars.
Since we are interested in artistic and ornamental amber, let us discuss it in more detail.

This category of an amber can be classified into the three groups:

  • Transparent
  • Semi-transparent
  • Opaque

The color range of natural amber is so diverse than no description can accurately describe the whole palette of shades of this marvelous gemstone.
Natural amber ranges from almost colorless and transparent to fully opaque, black. But regardless of the amber’s color, it belongs to one of the three
groups listed above. The only variation of amber that can never be transparent is the Bone amber. It is important to discern between the different varieties
varieties of amber. Since we are located in Germany, we are used to the German word for variety, „Varietät”; its direct translation is „variation”.
Here we will use the word „variety”, which is more common for the English language.
Depending on the country or region of final consumption, usually there are only several colors that are currently popular. Since the demand for decorative
amber has always been defined by fashion trends, it has always been difficult to tell which gemstone will be popular tomorrow. For instance, if today it is
citrine, next year the honey or black color can substitute it as the most attractive. In North America the transparent tawny amber is considered as the best.
In Australia the most popular amber variety is red, in China the opaque yellow is the most popular. The Near East considers the bone white to be the
noblest one, while Europe enjoys the yellowish Bastard variety. As the proverb goes, tastes differ.


Let’s come back to the topic of amber variations

The commercial amber can be classified into the four main classes:

1. Natural artisan amber (stones for further processing)
2. Modified amber
3. Reconstructed (pressed, ambroid)
4. Varnish amber

The third and the fourth classes will be discussed in the sections „Amber Classification” and „True or Fake”.


The semi-precious stone, depending on its transparency, source color, polishing ability, and several other important characteristics,
can be divided into the following variations:

Klar (Clear) – fully transparent, ranging from colorless with slight yellow shade to tawny yellow (the so-called Braunschweig Klar).
Easily polishable.

Flom – smoky, contains microscopic air bubbles, semi-transparent. Easily polishable.

Bastard – non-transparent, uniformly turbid with light strains or obvious blots of other colors (the so-called Kumst). Easily polishable.

Bone (Knochen) – fully opaque, of uniform color. The color can range from ivory or condensed milk color (the so-called Butterscotch)
to pure white. Very rare. Easily polishable.

Foamy (Schaum) – non-transparent, ochroleucous, floats even in soft water. An altered form of the Stone variation.
Absolutely non-polishable.

Black Varnish (Schwarzfirnis) – grayish black (resembles marble), non-transparent, contaminated with remnants of its plant of origin
and soil. Non-polishable.

Bunt – a mixture of the Klar and the Bone variations, with bright inclusions of other colors. Is not polishable with standard methods.

Antik (Antique) – variations ranging from Klar to Bastard. Depending on the oxidation level, the color changes, too – from red to reddish brown.
High luster cannot be achieved even with modern polishing methods.




Methods of extraction

It is well-known that people have been dealing with amber for over two thousand years, and the excavation methods practically haven’t changed
over this period. Only the advent of the industrial revolution enabled mechanized industrial excavation of the unique material.

By the method used, the excavation of natural amber can be divided into two main types:

  • marine extraction
  • ground extraction

Let’s briefly discuss each type.

The oldest and the most traditional way of amber extraction, which is still popular now, is collecting the amber brought to the shore by the sea.
Amber’s ability to float in salty water is used for catching it with hand nets on shallow depths not far from the shore. This is, however, quite a
labor-consuming task, which requires certain experience and equipment.

When the weather is calm and the waves are small, pieces of raw amber can be seen on the bottom of the sea, up to 8 meters deep. The long poles
are used to mellow the soil, and when amber starts floating, it is caught by surface hand nets.

The last way of the so-called manual extraction is diving forsea raw amber. It is highly dangerous for one’s life, and not sufficiently productive.

Finally, the industrial marine extraction method: raising the amber-containing layer of the soil from the bottom of the sea with special
deep-digging dredges and its delivery to the shore for subsequent sorting and concentration. This method is quite effective, but expensive,
therefore it is not widely used.

The ground extraction method implies either underground or opencast mining. The underground mining was used till the end of the 19th century,
and then became technically unprofitable. Currently only opencast mines are being used to extract raw amber.
Depending on the region, the amber-containing layers (greensand) can be found up to 60 meters deep. The layer is freed from barren rock with
a special mining excavator, then the greensand layer is excavated itself, pressure jet guns are applied to separate amber, which is then cleansed
and sorted. All these procedures are quite energy consuming and expensive.

Therefore it should be understood that there can never be such a thing as cheap natural amber. If you are offered to buy cheap amber, you should
understand that it is not real.




Commercial Classification of  Raw Amber

After primary cleansing from the sedimentary rock (the so-called greensand) the material passes through the sorting stage. Depending on the
fraction size, cleanliness, color variations and form, the unprocessed amber is divided into strictly defined commercial classes. Each class
defines the specifics of further industrial processing.

The classes of unprocessed amber

Natural artisan amber (stones for further processing
– unique
– semi-precious
– souvenir
– collection

Black varnish amber


The commercial use of succinite can be divided into 3 main directions:

– Jewelry (succinite and other morphologic types)
– Medical and cosmetic (only succinite with high content of succinic acid)
– Industrial and chemical (succinite, other types, and waste)

Fraction size, color, presence of inclusions, and form of unprocessed stone play decisive role on the formation of prices for each class.


The Market Situation and Raw Amber Prices

Over the last two and a half years the prices for unprocessed amber, according to the most conservative estimates, have increased threefold.
As follows from the information obtained from the insider industry sources, the problems faced by the Kaliningrad Amber Complex are not only
industrial, but political as well. There is an opinion that some influential people simply don’t want the functioning of the Complex to be
well-coordinated and profitable. According to the laws of the Russian Federation, the Complex has to sell the extracted amber to any interested
buyer on the domestic market. Strangely enough, the “interested buyers” are always the same companies, the resellers of the Complex, which
have bought the all-year yield for several years ahead.

Practically all the extracted amber, primarily of the middle and big-sized fractions, is obtained by these companies and resold according to quite
obvious schemes. With the use of third-party companies, usually registered in Lithuania and Poland, the legally extracted raw amber is resold to
the countries of Southeast Asia. Naturally, all the profits from these operations flow to the resellers’ bank accounts. It is quite understandable that
in such a situation the Complex has no influence on the raw amber prices, which gives the reseller companies an unlimited power to define the
market prices.

The next, and probably the main factor conducing to the growth of prices for unprocessed amber is undiminishing demand for it in China.
Since 2008 till 2011 the amber consumption in China and Hong Kong grew 10% per year. Over the first six months of 2012 a small decrease
from 10% to 8% was observed, which was caused by growing prices of the end products.

According to the estimate of our regional partner in Hong Kong, the level of prices of unprocessed amber remains the same.
According to the average statistics (which include approximate data on illegal extraction) each year around 300 tons of raw amber are exported
from Russia and Ukraine to the Southeast Asia and Near East countries, at a total price of 150-200 mln USD.



True or Fake?

As a rule, we work with professionals, who buy the material from us for processing, and with collectors — in other words, the people with sufficient
experience to define the authenticity of material at first glance, and having profound understanding of what they are dealing with.

When heated to 150-155°С without the access of oxygen, amber becomes soft. This feature is used for further processing – incandescence
and pressing. Incandescence changes the structure of amber, so that turbid amber becomes transparent.
The complicated pressing process allows shaping grinded amber in any desired way. Though such products can be considered as natural,
they are not the same thing as natural amber. When the temperature reaches 970-1000°С, the amber simply burns, leaving a small amount of ash.

Since our company sells only unprocessed amber, there is no use to describe the different manipulations, fakes and imitations of amber
characteristic of the finished products.

Instead, we will discuss the 4 basic methods suitable for testing of unprocessed raw amber.


Method 1. Fluorescence

It is widely known that the amber has a peculiar feature – to glow in the ultraviolet light. Different imitations, such as plastic, don’t have
this feature and don’t change their color. To identify a fake, you can use portable or stationary UV-lamps with wavelength ranging from
320 to 365 nm (that is, long-wave UV radiation), which can be easily bought at a retail prices of 20 to 25 USD. Such lamps are usually
used for checking money bills.

The different varieties of amber have different fluorescent shades. For instance, the Klar variety glows with light blue, while the Flom,
Bastard and Bone varieties glow with milky white and some blue shades. The fluorescent light of the weathering rind can range from
light green to brown and dark brown.


Method 2. Hydrostatic

Natural amber has relatively low density (around 1.04–1.25 g/cm3), which is approximately the same as density of sea water.
Real amber sinks in soft water, but floats in salty water. To use this method, make a solution of dietary salt, taking 90 to 100 g
of salt per 1 liter of water.


Method 3. Thermal

Choose a part of you piece of amber that is going to be cut off during subsequent processing. Scratch it with red-hot needle or simply
ignite it. Real amber burns very well, emitting delicate coniferous smell. Plastic burns, too — but it emits acrid unpleasant odor.


Method 4. Chemical

This method lets us distinguish real amber from fakes and new copal. Take acetone or undiluted alcohol and apply it to the surface of
the object you are checking. While real amber will be unaffected by such a test, plastic or copal will become viscid or swell on the spot
where the chemical was applied. After the test clean your amber with pure water and let it dry.


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