I have recently been hearing that there has been a lot of fake Baltic Amber Jewelry floating around the web. Of course I got nervous seeing as I recently received mine in the mail and was still “on the fence” as to whether it was doing any good or not. So I decided to do a little investigation for myself.
I researched to see if I could find out how you can spot the difference between real Baltic Jewelery and fakes. Here is what I found:
Fake Baltic Jewelry can be made from:
- Fenolic Resins
- 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. (This is the method I tried below)
- 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 need in those.
- Salt Water Test is another easy way to test and see if your Amber is real. Amber will float in salt water, but 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 on it.
Tips in Recognizing Fakes:
- Purchase from a reliable or reputable source
- Use any one of the tests above
- Look for 100% Guarantee on the necklaces
- A Cheap price may be a RED FLAG
- Amber does not melt
- Amber has a sweet pine-tree type smell when burned
And here is the test we did on our Baltic teething necklace below. I was a little disappointed because part of the necklace turned black when we put the flame on it. It did however smell like PINE!! Yeah!! I was a little nervous there for awhile. I would advise you try to hold the necklace over a heat source that doesn’t involve a direct flame such as an electric stove. This way the smell can still resonate without harming your necklace. Please don’t mind my neurotic voice in the video…I was nervous the necklace might get ruined.
Do you own any Baltic amber jewelry?
Have you tested it out before?