Amber

buyers guide

Technical

Amber is described as ‘an amorphous, polymeric glass’. Amber consists of about 79% carbon, 10% hydrogen and 11% oxygen as well as a small amount of sulphur. It is not a hard substance (similar to a fingernail) and measuring 2 on the    scale and the specific gravity at 1.04 -1.10 is only slightly more than that of water.

Amber tends not to melt under extreme heat but rather to turn black and burn. Amber will produce static electricity if rubbed and is warm to the touch.

Amber is distinguished by features which are only found in Amber and not in other stones. Circular, radial cracks are found in modern amber and Baltic amber can contain hairs from the flowers of oak trees as well as insects.

There are different types of Amber – all showing different colours – i.e., Burmese Amber is dark orange or red; Lebanese Amber is yellow; Sicilian Amber is orange, red or sometimes green, blue or black;  Chinese Amber is transparent, orange or red  and Borneo Amber is very dark red.

Genuine Amber can be identified in several ways including the salt water test where Amber will float when other substances will sink.