Back in March I picked up some lovely Chiapas amber while in Mexico. Chiapas, in the southernmost part of Mexico, is known for it's beautiful amber. My friend, Pattie, kindly tutored me in the finer details of faux vs real amber as we strolled through the market. While I have a pretty good instinct for faux vs real, I wasn't really familiar with the beautiful Chiapas variety.
I ended up purchasing several strands from a very kind, older man who patiently worked through our language gap with me. Amber is strange and wonderful stuff. When you hold it in your hands, it's light smooth feel is reminiscent of, well...plastic. That's because it's fossilized tree sap. Which is perfect for me as I'm a bit of a rock hound and a freak for fossils. Kinda geeky, I know. Fossils, rocks, gemstones, driftwood, shells...all good stuff. Back to the amber...typically, you'll see inclusions and fractures...possibly even an insect or two that's been encased inside the amber during the process of fossilization. Cool beans, no?
The Chiapas amber has a warm, honeyed look that's really irresistible. That sweet little Mexican man relieved me of a dollar or two. Bless his heart.
I'd rather use the Chiapas or the rough version than the highly polished version...just because I like a lot of crackly texture to run my fingers over. I can wear it on my skin and feel the honey warm vibe running through it.
This, right here, is faux amber. Faux amber is often made of plastic, resin, amber powder or some combination of those. Chips and/or inclusions and color are added to simulate real amber.
These particular pieces are pretty easy to distinguish from the real deal. Real amber can be pricey so, if simulated amber is what you're looking to add to your piece of jewelry, that's ok. The price should be considerably less that real amber. Just know what you're looking at when you go to buy. Other than looks, there are a few ways to test for real amber. Click here for a few tips.
Amber love. Just one of my obsessions. I have so many...