Spark of Amber

The internet appears to be swarming with questions about real or fake amber. It is the topic of discussions and message boards, andat Spark of Amber, we get many related questions that we are happy to help answer. Unfortunately, it seems that there is a wide variety of misinformation about real (and Fake) Baltic Amber floating around out there.

NEWS FLASH: Within the next 4 weeks, we will be posting detailed outside lab reports verifying the authenticity of samples of our Baltic Amber.

Here are a few answers to some FAQ about Baltic Amber jewelry like that which we sell at Spark of Amber:

1. Is your Baltic Amber from  Lithuania? YES! We only ever purchase from reliable sellers of Amber from Lithuania that we have established relationships with.

2. Do you have "certificates of authenticity for your Baltic Amber"?
NO. Honestly, if I wanted to,  I could get on my computer and make up a "certificate of authenticity". I would never do such a thing, but the point being that because I can produce a piece of paper that says I own Baltic Amber really is rather insignificant.

3. Then, how can you verify your Amber is real? Our sellers are primarily smaller sellers; Lithuanians who sell Baltic Amber to support their families, and they do not provide us with certificates. However our amber is professionally tested!

4. What are the best professional tests of Amber? UV testing (done professionally), IR-spectroscopy (which involves a machine and is greatly effective), and chemical testing. UV testing is good, but there are so many varied results, that it is not really recommended to be done in your home. You have to be aware that dark amber does not show up under UV lighting like light amber does, and there are all sorts of variations that only a true professional would know. And of course, chemical testing and IR-Spectroscopy testing is obviously best left to professionals.

5. Are home tests reliable? NO!  Simply put, ask a professional jeweler. They will/ would say no. Seriously, consider the famed "salt water" test for amber. Technically speaking, if the quantity of salt is off or not mixed right, this could end up "failing", and you would still possibly have genuine Baltic Amber. All home tests are downright subjective, to say the least. Which leads me to. . .

6. What about the burn/smell test (you constantly read about this one all over the internet)? This test involves poking amber with a hot needle, then smelling the smoke to see if it smells like "pine". This is completely subjective and very unreliable. For one thing, the "pine" smell of BURNING or very HOT amber is quite different than the pine smell most people are expecting (i.e. like a Christmas tree).  For another, the heat of the needle and how long you warm it can also affect the results (hence subjective, and not scientific to say the least). Raw Amber has a stronger "piny" scent than polished Amber. Between the really rather strong and unique pine scent of amber and the smoky smell of the hot needle, it really smells more "bitter", and many people would say "like plastic". Beyond that, you are damaging amber for a very un-scientific test.

7. So, how do you recommend I ensure I am purchasing Baltic Amber? If you really are in doubt, take it to a jeweler and have them use a machine, or do a chemical test. Jewelers are experts in their field and quite knowledgeable. Otherwise, be sure your purchase Baltic Amber from the Baltic region (Lithuania) by the Baltic Sea. At Spark of Amber, we do understand and sympathize with our customers' desire for REAL Baltic Amber, so we do our best to ensure that is what you get when you purchase our beautiful jewelry!

In conclusion, I really do believe there is fake amber out there. I also believe most family Baltic Amber businesses would NEVER want to sell it or intentionally sell it. If there is a question, or a rumor about our amber, it hurts our business. I believe it IS important as we manage Spark of Amber to consistently be sure our Amber is the best out there!

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