|The raw amber shows tinge of blue hue beneath the skin|
|Rocks of raw amber|
This piece was among a bundle of raw amber roughs shown to the client by a dealer and the asking price was over a million RMB. There was a small opening on its surface to reveal its interior. Of course one would need a high power torch light to see beyond the skin. After careful examination/evaluation, the client bought the whole lot from the dealer. He actually wanted this large piece of raw amber in the whole lot. He had never seen a raw amber of this size and it could be valuable because of the combination of blue and golden yellow hue hidden beneath the skin.
After buying the amber, he wanted to have it cut to reveal its interior. He wanted to find out what ornaments he could make from this amber. However, when a bit of the skin was removed, he was shocked to see some patches of impurity in the interior. Did it mean that his investment was a utter failure? Did he misjudged its value? Although the amber revealed the blue and golden hue (signs of top quality amber) under strong light, the presence of impurity would greatly lower its value. If he stopped cutting now, he might just be able to recover some of the cost he spent on it by selling it to another person. Don't forget buying any uncut raw stone is a gamble. The more you can see the interior, the better your chance of success. Hence, the raw stones often have a small opening to reveal a bit of the interior to attract clients. If he hadn't reveal too much of the interior of the amber, chances that someone would still buy it and take his own chances.
The owner did not sell away the raw amber to cut his losses. As he really liked this large amber, he wanted to examine it further to ascertain its true worth. He then consulted experts for their opinion. Using sophisticated equipment, the experts examined the amber and eventually concluded that the patches of impurity were nothing but leaves curled up inside the amber. As amber is formed from resin dripping from trees millions of years ago, it might have trapped some leaves in the process. Amber with impurities trapped inside could be valuable if these impurities are insects, leaves and things from millions of years ago.
With encouragement from experts, the owner decided to make something out of this large amber. He then sent it to a craft-master to have it designed and made into an ornament, a carving that would characterize the potential of this rare gem. After careful thought, the craft-master created five fishes from the bluish part of the amber. The fishes were carved in different postures, all swimming around the curled leaves in a setting of golden yellow amber of the remaining material. In its final form, the amber carving is now worth several times more than its original value. This is how a good gem stone can have its value enhanced tremendously when it is cleverly designed and made into ornaments.
|Value added enhancement to the raw amber|
|A big patch of impurity in the amber|
|Opaque amber bracelets|
|Red or blood amber|
How to prepare this salt water? Its very simple, just mix 14 grams of salt in 100 cc of water to make up a specific gravity of 1.14. Amber has a specific gravity of 1.13, hence it will float on this prepared salt water.
Another method is to use a UV light source to shine on it. If the light is reflected instead of transmitted into the material, it is definitely not amber. Like the bead on top of this photo is made from a plastic material.