How to Spot Fake Amber - 4 Easy Methods You Can Do at Home

How to Spot Fake Amber - 4 Easy Methods You Can Do at Home

What is Amber?

Amber is the fossilized resin of ancient trees produced by the action of sunlight on resin that seeps through cracks in trees. The resin once held the trees together and protected them from parasites. Amber has been prized for its color, transparency, and beauty for thousands of years, with the first recorded use dating back to the Stone Age. Amber is widely known as the "Gold of the North" and has been found in Baltic, Dominican Republic, and Samland. Amber is also found in Mexico, Burma, Turkey, India, and China. Amber is used in jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, and rings. It is also used in religious ceremonies and as a decorative gemstone. Amber is used for healing, particularly for pain relief. Amber is used in the production of perfume, cosmetics, and soaps. It is also used in the production of varnishes, dyes, and paints.

Why is it important to tell real amber from fake amber?

Amber is one of the most beautiful gemstones you can find. With its rich colors and unique patterns, it’s a favorite gemstone of many people. But, there are a lot of fake amber gems out there, and many people don’t know how to spot fake amber gems. Here we’re going to tell you how to spot fake amber gems.

Amber is not only beautiful but also unique. It comes in many different colors. However, some of these colors are not natural. They are artificially produced, which is why they are called "fake amber." Amber can be found in many different places, but the most popular are the Baltic region, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, and Mexico.

Amber is a fossilized tree resin that has been appreciated for thousands of years for its color, scent and beauty. It can be used to make jewelry, beads, buttons, and other decorative pieces. Amber is one of the most commonly imitated gemstones and is often misrepresented as real amber.

There are tons of fake amber products in the market. Amber is not difficult to fake. Quartz, glass, plastic, resin, polyester, celluloid, Bakelite, cellulose, or even pieces of coal can be turned into fake amber. Anyone can be fooled into thinking that they are buying real amber when in fact they are buying fake amber. So with that in mind, how can you tell if the amber you are buying is real or fake?

Different types of amber have different characteristics and prices, so it is important to know how to tell real amber from fake amber.

What Else Looks Like Amber? - common materials used for amber imitations

Casein: Casein is a chemical known as specific type of protein that is often found in nearly all mammals. Casein, plain and simple, is an umbrella term for the proteins that are found in milk. Casein can also be used to refer to other dairy based compounds. It's most widely used in the manufacturing of plastics, paints, adhesives, explosives, glues and cheese production.

Celluloid: A fictitious substitute material with properties similar to plastic. Chromoloph is a more accurate name for it -- an all-black polymer that can be seen when held against sources of intense light. It has a slight chemical odor when burnt.

Copal resin: This resin is another type of incense that was manufactured by prehistoric humans. It's considered a fake because it's derived from tree sap and natural ingredients are added to them as well as insects which would help with the whole 'incense-burning' bit. They tend to deteriorate faster at lower temperatures and melt rather than burn, releasing a sweet scent as they break down.

Kauri Gum: Kauri gum is actually very similar to copal, giving off the same features in appearance, insects, and inclusions (though without its own sort of charm). They are able to insert these fake insects by drilling a hole into it or cracking them. If you see either of the two, you will know you are dealing with a fake. Genuine insect in real amber should appear black; they are never colorful. Some may also be covered with a white residue.

Glass: There are a lot of differences that can be noticed when amber is made out of glass. For starters they are fireproof and scratch-resistant. Moreover, glass is about 3x heavier than typical amber which makes its texture seem more solid in your hand.

Phenolic Resin: They have a very particular shape (smooth and oval). Does not emit a resin smell when burned, which should happen with genuine amber.

Other plastic: The actual key difference is in the appearance. Modern production techniques have made ​​certain plastics with the ability to perfectly mimic many of amber's most common properties. For example, it can be imitated by using polyester or another form of plastic. It is also known to emit a plastic smell when hot, although this particular characteristic has not been widely studied by the scientific community.

Learn to Spot Fake Amber - 4 Methods You Can Use At Home

The best way to tell if the amber you are buying is real or fake is by looking at it carefully. If a piece of amber has a natural look, then that means it probably came from a fossil. If the amber is cloudy, then it was most likely formed in ancient times when there were no trees where the amber came from. If a piece of amber has a natural look, then that means it probably came from a fossil.

There are also few popular methods which you can use to spot a fake amber

Salt Water Test

It is easy to get ripped-off when shopping for amber. Most fake pieces are made of plastic, resin or glass. One way to determine if your piece of amber is genuine or not is not expensive or hard to do. Do the saltwater test on your prospective purchase by mixing two tablespoons of salt with one cup of water in a bowl or pot. After you have added the salt, immerse the amber gemstone into the salty mixture. Amber with larger bubbles will float while most fakes will sink because they are usually denser in weight due to their heavier refining process compared to the genuine ones. After performing this test on your prospective amber gemstone, make sure to rinse it off with fresh water and make sure it has dried before packing it up again for its journey home.

Electric Static Test

Often, one of the simplest and safest ways to tell whether you have real amber or not is by carrying out a static charge. You can rub amber with your hands or with a cloth to create heat as well as see if it smells like tree resin after rubbing for about 15-20 seconds. Also, you should be able to feel an oily residue on your skin which will appear several seconds after rubbing. Rubbing Copal produces the same charge but has an obviously different scent. Amber also has an electrostatic charge that causes it to attract things like dust or clothes when rubbed.

UV Light

Real amber becomes fluorescent and glows in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet light. You will need to complete this process in a dark room with the right eye protection gear.

Acetone/Muratic Test

To test the authenticity of a necklace that may be made from amber, try touching a bead with a drop of acetone or muratic acid. This will only do the job if the amber is real and not man-made. If it is real, you will notice that it is unaffected by the chemicals and evaporates. If you are using nail polish remover, be sure to use an old rag instead of regular cotton pads since it might stain them. This test will also remove your polish off your nails so make sure you don’t touch any hard surfaces or objects afterwards! Don't forget to test just a small area that is not visible first before doing this on your strand. Do not use muratic acid on natural stone beads as it can permanently affect their color!


Amber is a beautiful gemstone that has been around for thousands of years, but with popularity comes imitation. There are many types of amber out there, and some types are more rare than others. Knowing the difference between real amber and fake amber will help you to pay the right price. A fake amber product will always have a lower price than a real amber product. So, if you are trying to buy a piece of amber, it is important to look for the best deal.


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