How to check if our amber is real?
We can check the authenticity of amber by using the brine method: the amber floats on the surface of the salty water. Other resins, as well as synthetic materials, sink to the bottom. A more invasive method to check amber authenticity is to set it on fire – real amber will burn with a bright flame, releasing characteristic resin smell.
Rubbing natural amber against a cloth piece should attract paper or dust to the stone, and also release a pleasant resin smell. The resin aroma will also be noticeable after touching the natural amber with the tip of a hot needle. It can also be gently scratched on the side, natural amber will form crumbs, while synthetic material will form spiral chips. Amber does not react to ether and any other types of solvents such as acetone.
Synthetic materials after contact with solvents become dull and sticky. These methods are not efficient in terms of amber trade. The best way to check amber authenticity is to ask an Amber Expert who will be able to check its features under a magnifying glass or a microscope and then professionally evaluate them. The best device to determine the authenticity of amber is a spectrometer. A new and promising method of testing authenticity is mapping, but it’s still being tested.