Natural Baltic Amber


Amber Export, Consulting, Buying Services
From Poland Since 1996



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The Largest Selection Of Amber In Poland.

 

Published By The International Amber Association, Gdansk, Poland, this book is an authorative discussion of Baltic Amber.
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Beads


Craft and Beads For Teething Necklaces.

Frequently Asked Questions
About Us And Our History

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Big Bead Bracelets


The best Genuine Amber Bead Bracelets That Poland Has To Offer.

Pictures Of Amber

A review of amber in pictures with pictures of raw and processed amber.

Pictures Of Raw Amber

     
     

 

Pictures Of Shaped Amber Beads

     
     

 

Pictures Of Tumbled Amber Craft Beads

     
     

 

Pictures Of Clarified Amber

     
     

 

 

Should you rely on pictures of amber?

Pictures Lie!

In this modern world of Photoshop, don't believe what you see in a photo.

Rely on tests by laboratories that know Baltic Amber such as the Amber Laboratory at the Gdansk University of Technology that works in agreement with the International Amber Association, Gdansk, Poland or the Assay Office Of Latvia. See Certificate Of Authenticity With Photo.

There is a second test. And that is to rely on the reputation of your seller for properly describing the products that he is selling. That comes after you have bought tested products and know what he is selling.

But don't rely on pictures!

Images Of Fake Amber

The following are three examples of imitation amber, not Baltic amber and amber frauds

The pictures show beautiful product. And people who rely on pictures to make their decisions get defrauded, misled and taken for a ride every day.

fake amber 1 fake amber 2 fake amber 3

The above prayer beads are displayed in beautiful photos. They are not Baltic amber.

And here is a collection of jewelry that is pure fake. Some of it is very effectively sold as old amber after showing people pictures.

fake amberfake amberfake amber

Pictures lie! Rely on tests and the reputation of your seller.

 

Processed Amber

Any amber that is not in its condition as it came from the ground or beach on the Baltic is processed amber. Polishing it and shaping it is a process. So if you ask for unprocessed amber you get something that looks like this.

amber

 

A piece of amber like that has to be hand cut, tumble polished or shaped into bead form under pressure.

Pressed Beads

There are only hand cut beads, rolled or tumbled beads and PRESSED beads. And most people do not have the slightest idea about what a pressed bead is. Read What Is Pressed Amber

And guess what! BEADS CUT FROM ONE STONE CAN BE PRESSED BEADS. And they can be very high quality. So high that most people cannot distinguish them from hand carved beads made from one stone. The piece of raw amber like the one above can be pressed into a beautiful bead.

So when you ask for beads, be careful when you say you don't want pressed beads.

 

Hand Cut Beads

These beads are hand carved from one piece of amber. Note in these pictures you sometimes see dark spots in the beads. That is because amber formed from sap on pine trees. Many times dust, dirt, bark and insects were trapped in the sap. They are called inclusions. And when the beads are carved, the inclusions show.

Look at the raw stone at the top of this page. Note the discolorations. They are what show up in the finished product. Amber is a natural product and you get a natural bead made from a natural product.

Hand cut beads are often clarified and/or colored by processing them in an autoclave. They are still genuine, authentic natural Baltic amber.

 

hand cut amber 1 hand cut amber 2 hand cut amber 3
hand cut amber 4 hand cut amber 5 hand cut amber 6
hand cut amber 7 hand cut amber 8 hand cut amber 9
hand cut amber 10 hand cut amber 11 hand cut amber 12
hand cut amber 13 hand cut amber 14 hand cut amber 15
hand cut amber 16 . .

Because of the price of the amber required to make hand carved beads, the waste and labor involved in production, these beads are very expensive. Beads are generally limited to sizes less than 12 mm. They are available in larger sizes, but their cost becomes prohibitive.

 

Beads Formed From One Stone

These beads are made from one stone.

A single amber stone like the one at the top of this page is put into a mould and under pressure the amber flows into the desired shape.

They are physically indistinguishable from hand cut beads. And in many cases they are visually indistinguishable from hand cut beads.

There are no tests, machines or procedures that will tell you that they are pressed into shape. An experienced amberman can tell the difference between a hand cut and pressed bead, most of the time, BUT NOT WITH 100% ACCURACY, that a bead is pressed.

Most buyers, be they wholesale or retail, cannot.

They differ from hand cut beads in that the natural layers of amber are non-linear since the amber changed shape in the mould. And if there were any internal cracks or voids, they are eliminated. So in some ways they are a higher quality bead than the hand carved.

 

one stone amber 1 one stone amber 2 one stone amber 3
one stone amber 4 one stone amber 5 .

These beads are generally available in 8mm and larger - up to 25 mm. And because they are easier to manufacture with little waste, they are reasonably priced.

If you want beads larger than 12 mm, this is probably your best choice.

 

Beads Formed From Two Or A Few Stones

 

two stone amber 10

Shown above is an award winning bracelet that is made with beads made by combining two pieces of amber under pressure.

Note that by pressing two pieces of amber together, one can achieve some beautiful patterns.

As one increases the number of stones to three and four, etc. the mottling effect is reduced. At its extreme, when grains or powders are used, the resulting product is dull.

But if one uses two to four stones, the beads can be nothing short of beautiful. They are physically indistinguishable from hand cut beads.

The colors that you see are achieved by exposing the amber to high oxygen content in an autoclave.

 

two stone amber 1 two stone amber 2 two stone amber 3
two stone amber 4 two stone amber 5 two stone amber 6
two stone amber 7 two stone amber 8 two stone amber 9
two stone amber 10 two stone amber 11 two stone amber 12
two stone amber 13 two stone amber 14 two stone amber 15

 

 

Beads Formed From Many Stones

These can be made either directly from powders and grains or from amber that has been recombined and then formed.

Those made from powders are dull.

Those made from recombined amber are beautiful and used extensively by jewelry makers that sell products in the tourist markets, hotels and gift shops. They are also used to make beautiful but inexpensive prayer beads - Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu and Roman Catholic.

We will say without qualification, that there are more prayer beads sold using beads like these than beads of the above. And that is because they are less expensive and more people can afford them.

 

 

pressed beads pressed beads flat prayer bead pressed

 

 

 

 

If you need more information or have any specific requirements, send email via Contact Form stating your needs.