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Antique Butterscotch Amber or Copal Necklace

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Fine Jewelry3018 of 3480GOLD MICRO MOSAIC BRACELET/PIN SET ROMAN RUINS 14K Enamel necklace
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Posted 3 years ago

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tdvintagec…
(13 items)

Beautiful, antique butterscotch amber necklace or copal??? The beads are large and the necklace is 36" in length and weighs 86 grams. The color is a rich caramel brown.
The weight feels right for amber but, the amber necklaces I have had in the past have a slight color variation from bead to bead and are referred to as egg yolk color.
I would love and appreciate your feedback and expertise.

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  1. Agram.m Agram.m, 3 years ago
    Natural Amber appears in different colours from yellow to butterscotch, and red brown. This is in my opinion a very nice Amber necklace with originel locket (because it is invisible)! Very nice juwel, how lucky you are!
  2. cindyjune cindyjune, 3 years ago
    Nice! Angram.m, is there any way else to identify amber other than the weight?
  3. Agram.m Agram.m, 3 years ago
    Yes there are several ways:
    1. Take a few small bits of tissue and put in on a table. Rub the necklace in question briskly against woolen or cotton cloth and then emmediately place it in front of the bits of tissue. Treu amber will make the tissue move. But.. unfortunately, some of today's plastics will do the same thing.
    2. You will smell a Pine scent when you heat (on an unvisible inconspicuous place; for example near a hole of one bead) with a hot point.
    3. The only true test is done with ether. Place a small amount in also an inconspicuous place). If the piece is genuie, the ether will not affect it. If it is plastic, it will become sticky and the ether will cat into it.

    Another very important thing of Amber is the weight and how very light it is.

    * text hold from the book How to be a Jewelry Detective from C.Jeanenne Bell, G.G.
    Wishing you success !
  4. cindyjune cindyjune, 3 years ago
    thanks Agram.m!
  5. vintagelove, 3 years ago
    Lovely old strand! Even if this piece is not amber and it turns out to be Bakelite, it is still quite valuable. After using the tried-and-true tests for Amber which Agram.m suggests, you can do the simple, non-invasive "rub test" for Bakelite, which can also help determine what you have or don't have. Rub your thumb back and forth on one spot, until you feel heat, than quickly give your thumb a sniff. If it smells like camphor, quite an industrial smell, than it is the distinctive smell of Bakelite. A similar test is dipping the face of a bead in hot water quickly, and the Bakelite odor will fill your nostrils immediately, not like the milder pine scent of Amber. The age of your piece is fairly certain to be from the 20s/30s based on the hidden clasp pointed out by Agram.m. This type of clasp was used on both Amber and Bakelite necklaces. Also, take a look at the clasp, there seems to be damage to one bead. If there is a chip, Amber will show up much shinier and more translucent than Bakelite plastic, or with a more crystal-like appearance that has a tendency towards brittle-ness and flaking off. Good Luck!
  6. tdvintagecompany tdvintagecompany, 3 years ago
    Good news and bad news on this piece. I had already tested the piece to see if it was bakelite but, test was negative. I was a little worried because at the clasp it looked like it had melted slightly, which of course would indicate it is not amber. I tried opening the clasp today (I had not done that yet) and one of the beads broke apart. The part that I thought was melted was actually where someone had glue a broken piece back on and the glue residue made it look melted. So the good news is that it is amber but I have two broken beads now. I don't think it will be a problem adding a new clasp and removing the remainder of the beads. Still a fabulous piece! Can't wait to get it fixed!!
  7. vintagelove, 3 years ago
    Well, that IS good news! It is the "best" possible place to have a broken bead, since the symmetry of the graduated strand will not be thrown off. And a Sterling or 14K Gold Clasp will certainly do this treasure justice. Thanks for sharing.

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