Featured About These 'Amber' Non-Bakelite Beads

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by wlwhittier, Jun 23, 2024.

  1. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    ~37 inches long, ~77 grams. They have been re-strung with knots between, but using string too small; some of the knots slip into the beads. The 409 test gives no color on the Q-tip; UV turns most of them a pasty ocher-yellow, opaque an' without any character...except for the four either side of the closure, which show a bright, opaque red. Those 4 are drilled in an unusual way that allows the closure to lay flat against the skin, a feature I've not seen before (pics 3 & 4). That closure is marked Sterling on its back, but is obviously plated, as the plate is flaking. They're not mine; a friends wife owned them. Aside from a couple that are strung out of order, they are nicely graduated; the largest is ~0.960" long by ~0.715" diameter, the smallest ~0.420" long by ~0.333" diameter. the 4 adjacent the closure are round, ~0.380" diameter. All of them are translucent, a few have swirls an' almost transparent areas. Color across the string is inconsistent, but not glaringly so. What, if anything, have I got?
    Your help will be gratefully received; thanks for lookin'!

    P1410618.jpeg P1410620.jpeg P1410621.jpeg P1410622.jpeg P1410623.jpeg P1410624.jpeg P1410625.jpeg
  2. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    It sure looks like amber from here. Not all amber reacts to blacklight. Does it feel heavy, normal, or lighter than it looks?
    wlwhittier likes this.
  3. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    I've not had enough exposure to amber to know...but it seems slightly heavier than any plastic. I'm gonna re-string them, an I'll do a salt water test while they're loose. Results here...soon, I hope.
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  4. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Sounds like amber.
    Definitely not amber. Probably some kind of man made material. Maybe added for extra length?
    Are these the swirls, or are there beads that are more 'swirly'?

    P1410623.jpeg P1410625.jpeg

    These are fine for pressed amber. Amber is often heat pressed into shape to form beads.
    It could be rhodium plated sterling. They do that so the silver doesn't tarnish, but the rhodium layer can flake over time.
    I have a passionate dislike of rhodium, I prefer silver as is.
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  5. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    Rather than an extra-length addition, they appear (due to the unusual manner of drilling) to be for wearer comfort & cosmetic appeal; the closure lays flat against the skin as a result of the drilling.
    There are some other variations in these; quite a few with more subtle color an' density evidence.

    If these are pressed amber, will that render the salt water (specific gravity) test unreliable?
  6. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    No it won't, because they are still amber. Most amber beads are pressed, and they all pass the test with flying colours.;)
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  7. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    Thank you, AJ...I'll be awhile with this, but when complete, results an' pics will be appended to this thread.
    komokwa and Any Jewelry like this.
  8. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    I have removed all the (nylon,double) strings an' knots.
    15 grams of salt fully dissolved in 100ml of room temp water floats all the beads nicely, save the 4 with off-center drilling. So, whether pressed or natural, these beads appear to be real amber.
    I'll rinse thoroughly, dry well (overnight, to allow water in the drilling to evaporate) an' weigh them en masse.
    I watched an excellent YouTube video about double-stringing an' knotting pearls...but I'm just gonna use waxed flax six-cord, single strung. I won't attempt to reuse the closure, as these beads will be offered for sale on eBay to benefit the fellow who owns them; the buyer will have plenty opportunity to get more creative with 'em. Pics will be added here when the job is as complete as I can manage.
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  9. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    I'd leave out the round off centre ones........they distract...
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  10. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    Agreed...as I'm not gonna use the closure, there's no point in including them. Thanks...
    komokwa likes this.
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