Monday, November 4, 2013

What you need to know about baltic amber...

I've been wanting to do a follow-up on the post that I wrote over a YEAR ago (time flies). You can check it out here. So much has changed since I was just a Mama writing about I feel like I have a bit more insight, experience and knowledge. So with that being said, I wanted to write about something that is important and that I see ALL the time.

Fake amber.

I know, right?! Seems so weird that anyone would want to trick people...but...they do.

Fake Baltic can be made from:

Fenolic Resins

Since I opened Everyday Baby in March of this year, I have seen it all. It really upsets me when a Mama comes in frazzled, tired, and wondering why amber isn't working for her baby.

I figured out a few ways to spot the difference between real Baltic Amber and fakes:

.Smell/Burn Test this is said to be the most reliable test. If you hold a flame to the amber necklace, it SHOULD give off a pleasant “pine-tree resin” smell if it is genuine. If it is a fake, it will either melt or give off a burnt plastic smell. If it is a glass fake, it will smell like nothing.

.Rub Test is similar to the smell/burn test above, except you don’t use a flame to heat the Baltic stones, you use the heat from your hands. Simply rub the stones in your hand to see if they release that “pine-tree resin” smell. This test may be a little more difficult to perform. 

.Hot Needle Test is another effective test that involves using a hot needle to once again evoke the “pine-tree resin” smell. Simply place a hot needle into an already drilled hole into the amber and see what happens. Obviously if you stick the needle into plastic or glass there will be no smell, and possible melting. Please be advised that this method may leave a slight burn mark where the needle was placed. Also note that the clasps are made of plastic and will burn if you stick the needle into those. 

.Salt Water Test is another easy way to test and see if your Amber is real. Amber will float in salt water, be sure there is not metal that would weigh the necklace down and make it sink. Please note that Copal also floats too, so while your necklace might not be glass, this test is not totally foolproof. Use 1 part salt to 2 parts water and drop the necklace into it. Hopefully it floats! 

How to avoid fakes:

Purchase from a reliable or reputable source.
Test your amber
Look for 100% Guarantee on the necklaces
If it's cheap-it ain't REAL 
Amber does not melt
Amber has a sweet pine-tree type smell when burned. 

**Don't burn over a direct flame, it will leave a black spot. I would advise you try to hold the necklace over a heat source that doesn’t involve a flame such as an electric stove. This way the smell can still resonate without harming your necklace. 


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