Even though Baltic amber is a fossil resin of the highest quality with special properties and a unique wealth of varieties, a resin which has been used by the human race ‘forever’, it will not do to close oneself off to learning about other fossil resins or about their imitation.
Fake amber and modern amber imitations focus on the replacement of the real, often very expensive Baltic amber. These imitated items are then sold at lower prices. In terms of Baltic amber, this fossil can be found along the Baltic Sea coasts and it is considered to be the finest and most appreciated amber stone in the world. Amber imitations started to appear soon after other materials proved they could replace Baltic amber, mostly after the 19th century. Currently, the marketplace is flooded with fake Amber especially Amber Inclusions. Unless you really know how to determine real Amber from fake, it is easy to be deceived. The fake products go for a high price at times and yet they are not only artificial, they do not have the healing powers of natural Baltic Amber. Baltic Amber jewerly was one of those precious materials that was replicated with worthless materials.
What does the term amber imitation refer to? According to the dictionary of the Polish language an imitation is “everything that imitates something else made of a surrogate, most often cheaper material”. Hence a very popular surrogate materials in jewelry craft include glass, other natural resins and plastics.
Apart from products made of amber imitations, which have been around for a long time, recently forged raw amber pieces have also come to the scene. One of the oldest and least sophisticated amber imitation is glass, which tended to be used mainly as a material for smoking paraphernalia, necklaces and rosaries.
The perfection of today’s imitations and the growing need to identify them generate great interest in research of Baltic amber.