Natural Baltic Amber

Amber Export, Consulting, Buying Services
From Poland Since 1996

Published By The International Amber Association, Gdansk, Poland, this book is an authorative discussion of Baltic Amber.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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What Is Pressed Amber

Pressed Amber beads are formed amber beads that are not hand cut.

Shaped amber beads are either cut from a single nugget of amber or formed in some way in a press.

In short, it means that amber beads are either cut or pressed.

Pressing does NOT change the natural properties of amber. It changes only the shape of the natural layers inside the amber. It does not change the medical properties.

Pressed amber beads can be very beautiful.

Look at some exampes of large bead bracelets made with pressed amber. Click Pressed Amber Bead Bracelets

And some examples ofIislamic prayer beads made with pressed amber. Click Islamic Prayr Beads

A complete dicussion is below. But you get much more information if you read the Amber Buyers Book.


Expanded Discussion Of Pressed Amber Beads

This discussion does not include amber beads that are tumble polished and non uniform in shape. It covers calibrated amber beads, round, olive, barrel and so on that are used in bracelets, necklaces and prayer beads.

The International Amber Association, Gdansk, Poland has four classifications for amber. Read the Classification of Amber Gemstones.

When asking for amber, use those classifications!


Note that all classifications of beads, other than those hand cut, are formed under pressure.

Or, in other words, if it is not hand cut, it is pressed.


Formed Out Of One Stone - These beads are classified Modified Baltic amber (Succinite) See See Classification Of Amber

bead of one stone

In this process, either a large stone of amber is cut into bead sized pieces or bead size pieces that have been sorted for quality and color are chosen. They are selected and laid out for a particular prayer bead.

They are put into a mold that is then put under high pressure to shape the bead.

The resulting bead is pure, Baltic amber. The color and color pattern are determined by the amber stone used.

Note that they made from one stone and are formed under pressure. They are pressed!

The only way to distinguish these from hand cut beads is by visual examination by an amber expert.

These are often sold as hand cut. And "experts", who are driven by price and think they know amber, buy them as hand cut and resell them as hand cut.

Some are fooled. Others know what they are buying and sell them as hand cut at low price.

These beads are pressed!


Formed Out Of More Than One Stone -These beads are classified Reconstructed (pressed) Baltic amber (Succinite) See See Classification Of Amber


In this process, two or more stones are combined under high pressure without any additives.

A huge proportion of the beads made for jewelry are made with beads formed from two or three stones.

Stones are chosen by color and quality to create the color pattern desired.

The only difference between these beads and those pressed from one stone is the number of stones used.

There is no way to tell if a bead was formed this way other than by visual examination by an amber expert.

There are no "machines" or other equipment that can detect the difference. Amber flows under pressure and combines.

Note that this leads to many so called "knowelgeable" people buying these beads thinking that they are either hand cut or formed out of one stone.

And they are pressed.


What Most People Think About When They Say Pressed

Two or more parts of natural, modified or reconstructed Baltic amber bonded together with the use of the smallest possible amount of a binding agent necessary to join the pieces. These are classified as Bonded Baltic amber (Succinite) (doublet, triplet)

This process is the process most often used to make beads from grains or meals. It is fairly easy to distinguish. It is dull with no pattern.



All amber beads that are not hand cut or tumble polished are pressed.

Hand cut beads made from Baltic Amber are very expensive. And price is the first indication of whether a bead is hand cut or not. If a bead is not expensive, it is probably not hand cut Baltic amber.

Before you say you don't want anything pressed, be sure that you only want hand cut and are willing to pay the very high price for hand cut.


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