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old amber beads - question
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Posted by: Locomule Post Reply
05/31/2015, 14:58:23

How would I go about getting something like these appraised/tested/etc to find out more about them? There are around 90 beads. I'd share more details but you experts can probably tell more from the photo than I can share.

edit: My image link didn't work so I added the photo as a reply to this post. Sorry, I'm new to these forums.



Modified by Locomule at Mon, Jun 01, 2015, 06:55:56

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Re: old amber beads - question
Re: old amber beads - question -- Locomule Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Locomule Post Reply
05/31/2015, 15:18:09

Trying to upload image as an attachment...

use_beads.jpg (154.6 KB)  


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Try searching eBay sold list for "vintage faceted amber beads"
Re: Re: old amber beads - question -- Locomule Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
05/31/2015, 21:55:10

There are a couple of strands currently on this list similar to your beads which sold for approx. 100.00. Your beads appear as if they may be a little dry, and may appear under magnification to be a bit surface crazed. Rubbing a very little olive oil on your hands, then on the beads thoroughly, then wiping gently (with something soft like cotton flannel) after leaving them with the oil for awhile will help restore their appearance. So will wearing them against your skin.



Modified by Joyce at Sun, May 31, 2015, 22:37:54

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Re: Re:your old amber beads
Re: Re: old amber beads - question -- Locomule Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Stefany Post Reply
06/01/2015, 00:36:18

hi
they look to me like real old hand-faceted amber- i have some similar ones.
in the past the transparent amber was more prized than the opaque yellow, and there was even a way of treating "butterscotch" amber to make it more transparent, with heat and oil, we used to be told.
Nowadays the yellow amber has rocketed in value, i see enormous prices in antique markets here in UK.
my opinion is that these would also have quite a value, if beautifully threaded with knots.



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Re: Re: old amber beads - question
Re: Re: old amber beads - question -- Locomule Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Locomule Post Reply
06/01/2015, 06:01:31

Thank you both so much for your replies.
Joyce, I looked around all over the net for similar necklaces. Mine has a strong resemblance to a teething necklace except that my beads are all faceted. Also, the ancient string they were found on wasn't knotted between the beads as one might expect. I found similar beads and necklaces here and there but none quite the same.

Stefany, thanks for the preservation tips! I'll definitely be checking into more of that type nfo. They got stuffed into a box and forgotten for 25 years. A local jewelry store told me to bring them in tomorrow so I'll report back with anything they find.
Of course it would be awesome if they are valuable, but even though I need the money, I don't think I'd sell them. I'm an artist. I'm far more interested in learning more about them.
I took a macro photo and you were correct about the beads Stefany, they are crazed...

use_beads_craze.jpg (78.7 KB)  


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nice capture of the surface crazing.....
Re: Re: Re: old amber beads - question -- Locomule Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
06/01/2015, 06:55:29

This is the current ebay "sold" list - prices are all over the place.


Related link: ebay sold list "vintage faceted amber beads"

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Re: nice capture of the surface crazing.....
Re: nice capture of the surface crazing..... -- Joyce Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Locomule Post Reply
06/01/2015, 08:32:39

Thanks, I used the macro setting on my camera and held them over a lamp.
I noticed that about Ebay prices too.
I'm cleaning them today with a rag lightly dampened with water and another rag with a tiny amount of olive oil. They were on a chain so I'm temporarily restringing them with knot spacers and rolling a paper tube to hang/store them in a darkened place until I figure out what I want to do with them.



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Re: Re: Re: old amber beads - question
Re: Re: Re: old amber beads - question -- Locomule Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Air studios Post Reply
06/01/2015, 13:51:30

Like so many of us bead lovers, I've learned the hard way that it's difficult to find comparable fine (faceted) antique amber beads at an online auction site like EBay because it's all but impossible to figure out true quality and condition from a digital photo or the seller's descriptive opinion. Your decision to make inquiry with a gemologist at a jewelry store is excellent.. He'll probably reaffirm your decision to carefully clean and enjoy your beads and possibly offer a good price to professionally restore their luster and the knotted strand itself. Old Amber, coral and ivory beads are like fine gemstones or natural pearls... They just have a certain patina and feel that can't be duplicated. I'm sure that to an artist like yourself this strand will become a treasure!



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dead end
Re: Re: Re: Re: old amber beads - question -- Air studios Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Locomule Post Reply
06/02/2015, 16:02:47

The gentleman at the jewelry store seemed to know less than I do, unfortunately. One of his comments was, "Those aren't worth very much, the only amber that is valuable is museum quality amber that has insects in it." Which made me want to ask, "Then why did one of your people look at my photograph and ask me to wait until next Tuesday to come in?" Oh well. I'll probably end up making them into a necklace for my wife. I'm an artist, I make art,and I excel at any medium. I'm also gonna do some looking around and see how much it would cost to have a bead professionally analyzed. I'm also going to dig deep into the internet and see if I can find anymore that have been faceted and sized in a similar fashion.
Thanks again to everyone for all your comments and insight. Great site too!



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here's a different search on ebay
Re: dead end -- Locomule Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Mel H Post Reply
06/04/2015, 00:26:24

I've noticed for some reason sellers are calling these Chinese amber. I did once have a similar strand that was hand-knotted with a nice old Chinese silver export clasp on it. I also had a faceted strand that had a midge (small fly) in one of the beads, pretty cool but not really much added value I don't think. Yours look like valuable beads that deserve a nice knotting job.


Related link: Chinese amber sold listings

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Re: here's a different search on ebay
Re: here's a different search on ebay -- Mel H Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Locomule Post Reply
06/05/2015, 16:03:10

Wow, thanks for that great link and your opinion. Some of those are the closest I've seen to the rougher-style faceting of my beads. My hope is to find as near a matching set as possible from a verified source. I guess, I'm new to all this.



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Re: dead end
Re: dead end -- Locomule Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Air studios Post Reply
06/04/2015, 08:20:04

That jewelry store owner was nuts! Whenever I need advice or jewelry cleaning i go to antique/consignment store in my town .. The owner is an accredited gemologist and he's also passionate about antique jewelry. The value of amber beads fluctuates and does depend on condition and quality... But a strand of good amber beads can be very valuable . You just went to someone who didn't know what the heck he was asking about. ( An insect inside an amber piece or bead can be rare and valuable but there are so many fakes on the market it takes a specialist to analyze anything like this.)



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Re: Re: dead end
Re: Re: dead end -- Air studios Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Locomule Post Reply
06/05/2015, 15:58:13

Yes, I figured that out very quickly. He wasn't the owner and I certainly don't think he was the person they wanted me to see. Oh well, no worries. I carefully cleaned, oiled, and restrung the beads for storage until I figure out what to do next.



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Lovely old amber beads!
Re: Re: old amber beads - question -- Locomule Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: rubyzane Post Reply
06/09/2015, 15:37:21

I believe these are quite old & I agree with some of the previous responses that they have a good value. I've seen similar, perhaps more ancient, from a very reputable bead dealer on Ebay. I can't for the life of me remember his name, but let me check it out & try to locate for you. I'll reply as soon as I find his site. Don't worry about what jewelery stores tell you. Amber is appreciated for such different reasons to different people. His perspective is a common one, but we all know different! :) Lynne



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Here you go
Re: Re: old amber beads - question -- Locomule Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: rubyzane Post Reply
06/09/2015, 15:45:04

The seller is mutasem2006. He has listed similar beads over the past few years that I loved, and found yours to be of the same type. I could be wrong of course. I believe I've attached a photo of some he's selling now...for $5,000. He has some individual similar beads, although none are as faceted, and i believe his are much older. I didn't check size or anything & replied rather quickly to your post, so my apologies if I'm completely off on this one! Good luck, Lynne

AncientAmberM2006.jpg (23.9 KB)  


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Re: Here you go
Re: Here you go -- rubyzane Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Air studios Post Reply
06/11/2015, 18:12:38

Oh, these are lovely! Think they're called cognac amber.. And each bead looks handmade. Beautiful!



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