Fake amber

I’ve had an old inquiry passed on to me that was never collected. It is quite interesting as it is not what it first seems!

This spectacular specimen looks like amber, which when you dig a little deeper is actually fake. Amber is fossil tree resin which forms lumps and often traps insects and other bits of debris. The big give away with this specimen is that it is the shape of a quartz crystal, a shape that would never naturally occur.

Fake amber is a big industry. You only need to look at Ebay to see an array of fake specimens for sale (mostly from China). Most of the fakes are plastic with a few insects thrown in for good measure. One of the best ways to tell fake amber is to see if it floats on water – amber always floats, plastic usually sinks.

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