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How to detect fake amber?


At Amber Boutique we guarantee that all the amber pieces you will find on our website are 100% genuine.

All of our pieces are unique, and the design of the jewelry is driven by the natural shape of the raw amber stone. Our artist, based in Lithuania, works exclusively with amber found on the coastline of the Baltic sea, mostly in Kaliningrad area.

Some sellers try to mimic amber by using a plastic or resin material. Even if this can look good on pictures, some signs should tell you to beware:

The easy fakes

Some sellers, for example, would try to mimic amber by using a plastic or resin material. Even if this can look good on pictures, some signs should tell you to beware:

  • an abnormally low price
  • several identical items
  • too perfectly shaped beads
  • perfectly transparent stones
  • a profusion of inclusions (insects, mosquitos, scorpions...) In real life, this type of inclusion is fairly rare. An inclusion of vertebrate sounds highly suspect. Most of the time they have been integrated artificially.

fake amber scorpion

Scorpion in "real" amber plastic, the type of products you can find on the Internet

Good copies

In some cases, it is actually harder to determine at a glance whether the amber is real or not. In some cases, copal, that is a material very similar to amber is sold as it, but this material is way younger: only a couple of thousands of years when real Baltic amber is at least 40 million years old. How to detect copal from amber?

  • Copal is also a natural resin but semi-fossil. It is softer than actual amber and would get scratched easily with the tip of a knife.
  • the color is usually lighter (light yellow) and offers fewer variations
  • Copal can be dissolved in alcohol which is not the case with amber
  • the inclusion of wildlife you will find in copal is mostly contemporary. On the other hand, in amber, most of the species will be extinct (think Jurassic Park). Yes, some feathers of actual dinosaurs have been found in amber!
  • Copal and plastic tend to sink in salty water. In comparison, amber would stay afloat.

Globally it doesn't mean than copal is absolutely worthless, it is still an organic material and a natural wonder, but the price of a modern organic resin can't be compared with a 40 million-year-old fossil.


Copal is not amber

Watch out, Copal is not amber but a younger type of natural resin.