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Original Message:   Perform a Rub Test
With clean hands (no perfume), rub the beads against the heel of your other hand for a minute. then smell them. Since the great proportion of older similar-looking beads were composed from cast phenolic plastics, they will exude a common odor—presenting the smell of carbolic acid. (You can get the same odor by rubbing the black Bakelite handle on a Revereware pan—or any old pan with Bakelite handles.)

If these beads were amber (which they are not), rubbing them for a minute or longer will cause them exude a pleasant piney aromatic aroma.

However, if they make no smell, they are probably a different plastic. You then have to try the brine test, and probably the hot-point test. All this is described in-detail at my online Group devoted to amber:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/amberisforever/info

Good luck. Jamey

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