Parents whose babies are teething are quite familiar with amber necklaces. However, people often end up buying fake ones because of how common they’ve become. Read on to find out how you can get to know if the necklace you’ve brought is the real deal!
Purchasing Authentic Amber Teething Necklaces
When an amber necklace comes in contact with the skin, the heat produced by the body releases a type of oil that contains succinic acid. When the skin absorbs this acid, it functions as a natural ibuprofen. It blocks the pain and reduces any inflammation.
For this reason, you wouldn’t want to purchase a teething necklace from a random place. The amber should come from the Baltic region since tests show that amber from the Baltic region has a higher amount of succinic acid than amber from other places.
Beware of Imposters
There are a few materials that are sold as authentic amber in the teething goods market when, in reality, they are far from the real thing. These common imposters include “copal”, which is basically adolescent amber that isn’t mature enough to be effective. However, it is commonly sold as amber.
Similarly, phenolic resins are used in the artificial amber beads while celluloid, glass, and casein (which happen to be plastic made from milk) are also sold as amber.
Also, beware of pressed amber, which are amber pieces fused together under very high pressure. In these instances, the succinic acid is also compressed, and the teething necklace is no longer effective.
Buying The Right Design
The necklace is going to be placed against your child’s skin beneath the clothes. For this reason, you need to make sure of the following:
- The beads shouldn’t have jagged edges that can harm the skin
- Every bead on the strand should be individually knotted
- All the beads should be tied and threaded with numerous strands for unbreakable strength
- All the materials used in the necklace should be completely natural
- The clasp should be either a screw clasp or a pop-clasp.
Look at It Closely
Real Baltic amber has certain characteristics, which show that it is completely authentic. When buying an amber necklace, make sure that you see or feel the following:
- The beads shouldn’t be round and each bead should vary in shape
- The beads aren’t perfect, which means that you should be able to see tiny imperfections within the beads like air bubbles
- The beads should be warm and not too smooth
- The beads should feel light in weight
Testing Your Amber Necklace
Amber has some unique features so to find out if the amber necklace you have is real or not, you can try out the best authenticity tests for Baltic amber.
Remember, if you purchase a fake amber necklace, then it won’t be able to deliver the health benefits you wanted to get such a necklace for.
- Salt Water Test
The Salt Water test is considered to be one of the most effective tests for identifying authentic amber from its imposters. For this test, you need around 7 tablespoons of salt along with one cup of water.
In the medium-sized cup, mix the water and salt until the salt is completely dissolved. Next, place the amber necklace in the water. If your amber is real, the necklace will easily float to the top of the cup while fake amber will sink.
This test isn’t recommended for jewelry that has metal in it; however, loose beads can be tested instantly.
- Rubbing Test
Since Copal is often sold as amber, you can do the rubbing test to differentiate between the two. Real amber possesses electrostatic properties; therefore, it can attract dust or tiny pieces of paper when charged sufficiently.
To charge the amber, wrap it up completely in a cloth. Rub the cloth for a minute, and then hold the beads near strands of your hair. With real amber, the hair will be attracted towards the stone, which means that static was produced. Meanwhile, if there is no attraction and the bead becomes sticky, the necklace you have is most likely made of copal.
- Hot Needle Test
Another test for differentiating authentic amber from fake amber is the hot needle test. For this, you have to heat a needle and then push the needle against the stone. If the needle goes in only slightly or if some cracks are left behind, the amber you have is authentic.
In the case of authentic amber, you will also be able to detect a distinct odor, which resembles the smell of a pine tree. On the other hand, with fake amber, the needle will go in completely, and the smell would be one resembling the odor of fresh paint or plastic.
However, only use this test if you are willing to leave behind a small mark on your amber necklace.
- Scratch Test
This test is usually done for identifying amber that doesn’t cost much because scratching the stone tends to damage it permanently. However, this test is helpful for separating amber from colored beads.
Since amber is quite soft, scratching it with metal will leave behind permanent scratches, while nothing will happen to glass beads. So, if you can easily scratch your jewelry beads then it is most likely authentic amber.
- Scent Test
People who are not too familiar with authentic amber might find this test slightly difficult; however, it is quite effective. For this test to be successful for you, you must know the difference between the smell of Baltic amber and copal.
The scent of real Baltic amber is quite stronger than the smell of copal. Meanwhile, if the necklace is made using some other imposter apart from copal then on heating the bead would smell like plastic.
Feel free to conduct these tests to determine the authenticity of your amber necklace. You need to have real amber if you wish to benefit from its natural healing properties.
About The Author
Jenn Sanders currently works as a marketing assistant at a company dedicated to the health and well-being of infants. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor adventures.
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Also published on Medium.