Bead Testing
Re: Re: Newly made from some kind of thermoplastic resin/ regarding Kilroy -- Air studios Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Mail author
06/22/2015, 08:43:21

Thanks for the interesting tidbit about your uncle! While I'm curious about what plastics he used, this doesn't relate closely enough to the fake amber beads for me to want to pay for an analysis - $75 per sample plus return postage if you want the sample back. If you would like to do this yourself I can send the contact info for the lab.

During WWII, a number of new plastics were invented and/or commercialized, such as polystyrene and polyisobutylene (rubber replacement). It's possible your uncle modified some commercial phenolic resins with some newer materials. And yes, it is possible that the Chinese are doing something similar to mimic amber.

Those large flat amber-colored monstrosities are likely hand-made, maybe in Morocco, from old plastic scrap and maybe some additives and colorants from China. I posted a link to a 5 year-old video of this being done in Morocco. The Chinese tend to make "perfect" amber fake beads - you can see them on AliExpress if you search "Tibetan amber beads". There are hundreds of listing so you have to search through a bunch but you'll even see fakes advertised as natural amber, with high price tags. But nothing like these huge flat beads.

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