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New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
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Posted by: calumw789 Post Reply
06/14/2015, 08:25:52

Hi all.

Just been browsing ebay and found some of the largest beads I have ever seen!!!

I've attached a link below but the seller appears to have many. Just want to know there origins and what they might be worth so I don't bid too much. They look really nice and I've got a use for them but just wanted a second opinion.

Hope someone can help

Regards

CW


Related link: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Huge-Copal-Egg-Yolk-Amber-Trade-Bead-African-Tibetan-Berber-Moroccan-283G-/391171433541?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item5b13a26445

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Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Stefany Post Reply
06/14/2015, 09:08:15

what tests have been applied to identify them as "copal"?

you have come to the right place anyway with your query-

the seller is based near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, are you in UK yourself? you will find the Bead Society of Great Britain on the links page here, many members are collectors and may also give opinions- it would help to handle the beads in real life...!

good luck-



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Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- Stefany Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: calumw789 Post Reply
06/14/2015, 09:14:36

Hi thanks for the quick reply. I'll certainly check out that website and yes I'm UK based.

Can I ask what tests can be carried out to identify? I understand acetone can be used to identify copal such as a=nail varnish/polish remover and that should leave copal with a sticky residue?

Regards

Calum



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Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Adjichristine Post Reply
06/14/2015, 10:11:14

Sorry! But,, I would advise you to be very careful about buying huge beads said to be amber or copal claiming to come from Africa! Many of these beads are actually phenolic resin (plastic). Genuine amber of this size and weight would sell for hundreds of dollars! There are beads called " Amber" that are made in Morocco of some mysterious material that have fooled many a collector including myself! I have a bag of it that I bought bead by bead over a period of time and I paid amber prices for it. Finally, one of my African dealer friends let me know that most of my amber collection was fake! On the positive side. I learned a great deal and probably will not buy amber again!



Modified by Adjichristine at Sun, Jun 14, 2015, 10:13:42

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Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- Adjichristine Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: calumw789 Post Reply
06/14/2015, 10:13:06

hI Adjichristine

Again thank-you for the reply I am new to this area so all input is appreciated.

Do you know the best way to identify copal?

Regards



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Re: Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Adjichristine Post Reply
06/14/2015, 11:42:28

There are many members of this forum that are more qualified than I, to answer this question! I never collected amber. Rare glass beads are my passion!



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Re: Re: Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: Re: Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- Adjichristine Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: calumw789 Post Reply
06/14/2015, 12:43:02

I see thanks for all the info hopefully someone can help before the auction ends.

Regards



Modified by calumw789 at Sun, Jun 14, 2015, 12:43:36

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Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: kika Post Reply
06/14/2015, 12:45:05

Be careful, please, when you see this kind of bead. I have bought a necklace in Africa with very big beads. I knew it was phenolic but there were very big and interesting for my collection, and I will send you a picture tomorrow. I am well afraid whether it is a bakelite bead or phenolic but not the amber. The amber buys itself in the gram and it is the bead which would cost very expensively.
I hope you understand my bad english!!!!! Good luck!

kika

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Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- kika Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: calumw789 Post Reply
06/14/2015, 14:24:43

Hi I understand I'd appreciate a look at your image i'll be very careful when bidding. Regards



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Suggesting.....
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
06/14/2015, 17:06:07

To take your money and run.....!

These are not amber, not copal, not phenolic either, in my opinion, but some quite newly made batch of beads of who-knows-what plastic material. Look at the perforations on both of these images, from the seller's offerings. One is jaggedy with a pointy area, with 2 suspicious looking blemishes. The other has visible grinding or file marks, showing that someone had to smooth some lumpy areas......For me, these are just not "right", but if not much more than opening price, not bad specimens to own as examples.

For reference:

wiki copal - the material is not fossilized yet

https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Copal

"River Amber" in the African trade is copal, it is fragile and not the best
material for beads. Here is what appears to me to be genuine copal, available from time to time from the African traders:

eBay item number:
251892457470

From the first time I saw phenolics in the early 80s, right up to today, the term "copal" is used as some sort of ambiguous, mystical term to try sell beads. When the seller knows it isn't amber, but wishes it was, I suppose.

$_57-1.JPG (177.0 KB)  1_$_57.JPG (185.4 KB)  


Modified by Joyce at Sun, Jun 14, 2015, 17:28:21

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Searching "phenolic" on our beloved archive.
Re: Suggesting..... -- Joyce Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
06/14/2015, 17:31:43

Because it is a very well-liked material for beads among the members of this forum. Lots of enjoyable reading here.


Related link: phenolic on bcn
Modified by Joyce at Sun, Jun 14, 2015, 17:38:54

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I didn't even notice this one at first......
Re: Suggesting..... -- Joyce Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
06/14/2015, 19:21:57

261924341949
Squarish imbedded "chunks" Rosanna referred to, with new fake repair.

2_$_57.JPG (165.4 KB)  1_$_57-1.JPG (162.0 KB)  


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Newly made from some kind of thermoplastic resin
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/14/2015, 18:49:40

Hi CW,

I agree with Joyce's comments and would like to add the following-

I've been doing an investigation on old phenolic resin (Bakelite) beads and I'm also interested in amber-imitations made from other plastics. I'm a retired polymer scientist as it turns out. I reviewed all the huge beads being offered by this seller. My opinion is that these are recently made by melting together scrap plastic, mostly amber colored, of some sort.

My reasons for thinking this are as follows: Many of the beads appear to contain large inclusions with sharp edges, that look suspiciously like chunks of unmelted plastic stock. If you look at the holes - on most of them, the holes look like one or two irregular sticks or rods were used to create a hole while the material was being melted. Then, the "flash" or excess material around the hole was ground off. One of the beads has a very ugly metal (probably aluminum) strap embedded into the side to mimic the repairs sometime seen on old amber beads. Strand of amber-colored beads with these crude metal strap "repairs" have recently been on eBay and advertised as "old". See for example eBay 261924341949. The real joke about this particular auction is that the beads are said to be 19th century - impossible since the beads are clearly plastic and Bakelite was not commercialized until 1910, and these beads are not even phenolic resin but something newer. I think they started appearing in the last 2-5 years, so VERY new!

All this being said, I would love to have one of these beads so I can have the plastic identified. I recently had an "amber substitute" bead analyzed by a commercial lab and it was high impact polystyrene (also known as HIPS). However the minimum price + shipping to the US is 26 pounds for one of the beads, a steep price to pay for my curiosity. If you end up buying one of these beads and could spare a very small sliver from inside or near the hole - I will get the material analyzed.

If you purchase one for a project - enjoy the bead for the color and design and NOT for any collectible or historical value.



Modified by Rosanna at Sun, Jun 14, 2015, 22:39:13

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Some terminology
Re: Newly made from some kind of thermoplastic resin -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/14/2015, 19:16:48

Beads made from phenolic resin, which is a thermosetting resin (cannot be re-melted and re-formed, only machined) are most often referred to as Bakelite beads. Bakelite was only one of the trade names for phenolic resin, but is used in the same way that Kleenex has been used to describe all tissues. Since old Bakelite items of all sorts are highly collectible, and most of these items, including beads, are advertised as Bakelite and not phenolic, I think it is OK to just refer to the material as Bakelite. In the past I thought using "Bakelite" was potentially misleading but after studying the other Bakelite collectibles areas a bit I now think it is just as good as saying "phenolic resin", and more widely understood.

"Copal amber" and "African amber" are terms that are (unfortunately) also used to describe phenolic resin beads, and as well other plastic beads that are amber-colored. I would love to know when "copal amber" entered the vocabulary of the bead world. I have an active imagination and wonder if some sales person just could not bring themselves to say the beads were plastic, and came up with "copal amber" when someone asked if they were amber. Every once in a while I will see true copal beads for sale, but they are rare and fragile and look nothing like phenolic plastic.

"African amber" now seems to be a term applied to anything that remotely looks like amber but is clearly not natural amber.

Another term that is used a lot is "cherry amber" which is invariably translucent phenolic resin, or possible another plastic.

I'm sure there are others that can chime in on the subject of amber substitutes as well.



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"Copal Amber".....
Re: Some terminology -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
06/14/2015, 22:38:14

In the early 80s, the first time I saw big fat phenolics, I was told they were "Copal". I had been to Jamey's talk on amber (the first time I saw Jamey) and was just beginning to learn about amber and it's substitutes.

The market term "Copal Amber" is pretty contradictory. Is it copal, or is it amber? By definition, it can't be both at the same time. I recall this only during the eBay years.



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Thanks!
Re: "Copal Amber"..... -- Joyce Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/14/2015, 22:48:54

Thanks for the history on the term copal amber. I recall about five years ago someone at the bead society called some phenolic beads "copal amber" and I was baffled that anyone in the bead world would come up with such a bizarre term. But they obviously heard it from someone else, maybe 30 years before...



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Re: Thanks!
Re: Thanks! -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: calumw789 Post Reply
06/15/2015, 05:52:14

Hi all thanks for all the input. Can anyone tell me if theres a test I can have the seller carry out without lab testing. I understand acceton can work is this correct? Regards



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My advice
Re: Re: Thanks! -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/15/2015, 06:46:13

First, I would ask the seller what he means by "copal amber". Does he think the beads are a natural material or a man-made resin? If he says they are man made, then I believe you have your answer, since it would be impossible for him to figure out exactly what plastic it is. It may even be a mixture of more than one plastic.

If he says a natural material, then I would ask which one and see what he says. If he says copal, then you could suggest a hot needle test (plunge a sewing needle heated in a flame into the side of the hole) but he may not want to damage the bead. And you will have to believe his result, which would be a stinky plastic smell for plastic and a pleasant piney odor for copal (or amber).

Acetone will soften many plastics (but not all, and some will only soften very slowly) and will also soften copal so that would not be a definitive test. But, we know from the pictures they are not copal.

Please let us know what the seller says in any case!



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Re: My advice
Re: My advice -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: collector78915 Post Reply
06/16/2015, 02:52:36

Hi all
I was directed to this forum by an eBay member.
I am the seller of these said beads and wanted to clarify a few things.
These are Copal beads. They are part of a large collection a relative owned.
They were tested with a hot pin and smell like pine leaves. (the smell reminds me of when I burned a Christmas tree in the new year in an incinerator garden waste bin.
They have also been tested with acetone and rubbed between pieces of cloth and they become sticky when this is done.
I also had someone look at them a few years ago an Asian arts dealer who collects amber. He confirmed they were copal.
The beads have also been rubbed with simichrome and the polish remains pink which emphasises these are not a form of plastic or Bakelite.
I hope this clarifies things for people.
Thank-you



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Re: Some terminology /Kikroy fun fact
Re: Some terminology -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Air studios Post Reply
06/21/2015, 11:20:13

An interesting aside about the plastics that were invented pre or post Bakelite: My Uncle was the inventor/ designer and manufacturer of the famous Kilroy lapel pins that were manufactured during and after WW II.. Instead of using Bakelite he decided to invent his own organic based plastic. His concoction was quite adaptable to his purposes - easily poured and molded, and it accommodated the paint he used on the eyes. Unfortunately, perhaps because this synthetic mix was flammable, the factory burned to the ground at the height of production. The remaining Kilroys (aka "pocket Peekies",) are now collector's items due to their flawless design, iconic value and scarcity- and whenever they appear on eBay (not often) they're listed as Bakelite by dealers who just can't tell the difference.. I'm mentioning this because my Uncle was an entertainer and inventor.. by no means a chemist... If he could make a synthetic mix with the basic properties that made Bakelite so popular, I'm sure this kind of thing must have been done frequently .. The copal/amber/whatever trade beads that often defy analysis might be the result of mixing an extraordinary organic synthetic that is no longer in use today.



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Amber imitation beads made from high impact polystyrene
Re: Newly made from some kind of thermoplastic resin -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/14/2015, 19:29:21

Don't these beads look like they may be real amber? I purchased this necklace, which is made in a traditional Mauritanian style, to check out the large "amber" beads. The rest of the beads are antique Czech, Venetian, carnelian, and include a nice Kiffa. The seller, to her credit, did not make any claims about the "amber" beads, and the price for the necklace was modest.

I sent one of the light yellow beads to a plastics lab for analysis and it tested as high impact polystyrene by FTIR. A hot needle test gave a distinct styrene odor, and the material was tacky when touched with acetone (my tests). I would like to know when this material entered the West African bead trade - if anyone has an idea about this, I'd love to hear from you! I'm guessing post - WWII for sure, maybe around the 1980's. These beads appear to have some age on them, so I don't think they are really recent.

MaureNecklace1a.jpg (35.3 KB)  MaureNecklace3.jpg (49.3 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Sun, Jun 14, 2015, 19:31:02

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I agree with you Rosanna
Re: Newly made from some kind of thermoplastic resin -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: kika Post Reply
06/15/2015, 08:36:40

kika

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Re: Newly made from some kind of thermoplastic resin/ regarding Kilroy
Re: Newly made from some kind of thermoplastic resin -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Air studios Post Reply
06/21/2015, 12:14:44

Please read my post, " (Kilroy/fun fact)" on this thread, about the organic based synthetic material my Uncle created for his "Kilroy" pocket lapel pins, circa 1940's. If you have any interest in analyzing this interesting synthetic let me know..And if you can't find a lapel pin for sale online I'll loan you one from my collection. To the best of my knowledge this material has never been successfully analyzed, and although I'm unaware of documentation regarding my Uncle's formula, his memorabilia was requested by, and donated to , a Wisconsin Museum after his death. I do know that this particular synthetic/plastic not only looks like Bakelite, it's even more versatile and adaptable than Bakelite. I'm actually writing in response to your post about an interest in the synthetics used to imitate amber because my quess is that many of the so called amber beads were (and are) made of the same kind of adaptive material my uncle invented to meet his specific needs. Because this subject fascinates me, I did make a bid on one of these beads ... But lost to a bidder who managed to win almost the entire collection! (You might try writing to the seller to see if the buyer is open to communication and would be willing to send you a sample from one of the beads.)



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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 Post Reply
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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Re: Bead Testing
Re: Bead Testing -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Air studios Post Reply
06/22/2015, 18:05:16

Yes it seems like more trouble than it's worth to test the Kilroys...(I thought you indicated you had that ability at hand and in that case it seemed like a plan..) I guess the crazy amber replicas made me think of my eccentric uncle (Bob Neller.) He was a highly regarded ventriloquist and entertainer.. But he was always inventing some darrn thing. Knowing Bob he probably mixed the synthetic based on several needs that were unique to the production of these little pins. Don't think he danced with an existing substance because he was not a chemist.. And would never have analyzed the existing synthetic materials.. More likely he went to the basement and began his own nutty professor process. When I looked up the methods used to imitate the "amber" trade beads I was amazed that the darn beads looked as good as they did.. (and they don't look all that good.) The large wheel beads I have left in my stash from the '70's are actually beautifully made . I always assumed they were copal but now I'm thinking Bakelite . Whatever, they are attractive, and I didn't pay much 40 years ago because my bead pruchases were about historical value and aesthetics, not rarity or investment. I was going to purchase some amber trade beads but now the whole subject has left a sour taste in my mouth. So many fakes.. So much chicanery. Not my idea of fun!



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Re: Bead Testing
Re: Bead Testing -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Air studios Post Reply
06/22/2015, 18:38:34

Yuck! Just watched the Moraccan bead maker video on you tube! Ok that did it! I'm never going to look at these awful plastic beads again. There are actually a couple of African trade bead vendors who appear at local bead shows.. They have a few (terribly overpriced) good Venetian glass , shell and coral strands mixed in with reproductions. But today's young beader is confused by the whole situation. To me, most of the genuine trade beads have been imitated, infiltrated or otherwise corrupted at this point. Maddening to a jewelry designer who uses the real thing because the average buyer is clueless. I'm going to pull in the oars and save my good beads until the dust settles.. (if that's even a possibility?)



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Re: Newly made from some kind of thermoplastic resin
Re: Newly made from some kind of thermoplastic resin -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Anne0135 Post Reply
07/01/2015, 10:27:29

Great thread, information. Thank you! Very clear.



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Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: kika Post Reply
06/15/2015, 07:39:32

here are the pics of fake amber and real amber. I send to you different pictures. that is very difficult to know if it is plastique, bakélite or amber. You have to take the piece and it weight, it smell when you rub it etc....can help you!
After the big war, the first fake amber were distributed in Africa: it was bakélite. therefore the fake amber may be old, but then arrived plastics of all kinds. I send you some photos of these various plastics. I have even a necklace which seems to be of the horn. But the traders sold them and they were used for the amber because the amber was more and more expensive. It is sometimes difficult to make the difference between the amber, the copale and some bakelites. I also send you the photos of amber and copal true.
here are the necklace with bakélite and I have taken the three biggest beads on the second pic:
the cracked bead forward is 6,7cm/6,8 cm diameter and 3,6/3,8cm thick
The bead right is 6,8 diameter and 3,4 cm thick
and the bead behind is 5,6/5,8 cm diameter and 4,6 thick

DSC05554.jpg (80.4 KB)  DSC05555.jpg (62.1 KB)  
kika

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Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: kika Post Reply
06/15/2015, 07:44:12

here are another pics.
Horn beads (I thing so!),
the second pic is amber or copal

DSC05560.jpg (87.5 KB)  DSC05562.jpg (73.8 KB)  
kika

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Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: kika Post Reply
06/15/2015, 07:50:58

two pics: plastique....the touch, the aspect is différent, like bees wax!!! and the other pic: my necklace with amber

DSC05567.jpg (90.1 KB)  DSC05564.jpg (80.3 KB)  
kika

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Your plastique resembles the polystyrene beads I posted
Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- kika Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/15/2015, 08:45:12

Thanks, Kika - this is interesting information. Do you have any idea how old your "plastique" beads are? Do you know where in Africa they originated?



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Re: Your plastique resembles the polystyrene beads I posted
Re: Your plastique resembles the polystyrene beads I posted -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: kika Post Reply
06/15/2015, 09:33:11

Thanks Rosanna. I know that the first bakelite (discovered in 1909) appear after the first great war, approximately. The bakelite on the first pics is the oldest. I estimate perhaps 1960, perhaps!!! and the last picture where the beads are very yellow are, in my opinion, very recent.
On 1990, the peul women wore many "amber" beads, it was the wealth of a family, like on the pic with the young woman for the marriage, but, the drought has arrived, and the Peul people have sold their beads. It was terrible. And now we see few women with amber. It was so beautiful!
The merchants are still trying to make believe that they sell amber but it is no more amber, today, in Africa, or very very rare. It is also the same with old glass beads. The beads are coming from China, India, but the old beads are very rare.
Good afternoon (I hope, you understand my english!!!)

kika

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Good comments!
Re: Re: Your plastique resembles the polystyrene beads I posted -- kika Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/16/2015, 08:08:30

Kika,
Thank you , i appreciate your comments as well. And your English is very fine!

Rosanna



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Re: Your plastique resembles the polystyrene beads I posted
Re: Your plastique resembles the polystyrene beads I posted -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: kika Post Reply
06/16/2015, 13:02:48

I forgot to answer to you: I bought these beads in Cameroun, but, in Africa, it's very hard to know of where they come because the merchants are traveling a lot between the countries.
For example: I had a merchant who brought me many beautiful beads: he was a malian, he travelled all over the world like in a garden!! I phoned to me from Singapour, Munich, Tokyo, Bangkok, Lagos where he bought beads and any sorts of goods and he supplied the markets of all the African West. He also went in Afghanistan, Pakistan and he found gorgeous islamic beads!!!!!

kika

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Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: collector78915 Post Reply
06/16/2015, 02:53:14

Hi all
I was directed to this forum by an eBay member.
I am the seller of these said beads and wanted to clarify a few things.
These are Copal beads. They are part of a large collection a relative owned.
They were tested with a hot pin and smell like pine leaves. (the smell reminds me of when I burned a Christmas tree in the new year in an incinerator garden waste bin.
They have also been tested with acetone and rubbed between pieces of cloth and they become sticky when this is done.
I also had someone look at them a few years ago an Asian arts dealer who collects amber. He confirmed they were copal.
The beads have also been rubbed with simichrome and the polish remains pink which emphasises these are not a form of plastic or Bakelite.
I hope this clarifies things for people.
Thank-you



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Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these??
Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- collector78915 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: kika Post Reply
06/16/2015, 06:00:48

Yes, I confirm: Copal smells like Pin'resin, or turpentine.

kika

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Some questions
Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- collector78915 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/16/2015, 08:20:38

I was wondering what your thoughts were on the bead with the large inclusion with sharp edges, and the metal piece embedded in the side. Does it appear that the metal has been melted into the edge? Is there any evidence of a defect or crack that needed the metal repair piece to hold the bead together? Can you tell what type of metal it is?



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Re: Some questions
Re: Some questions -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: collector78915 Post Reply
06/16/2015, 08:45:20

Hi could you give me the item number there are a couple of the beads with the metal banding.

Happy to help

Regards



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Here is the eBay number
Re: Re: Some questions -- collector78915 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/16/2015, 17:10:48


391171428179



Modified by Rosanna at Wed, Jun 17, 2015, 06:26:36

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the one with odd embedded squarish chunk and "repair"
Re: Here is the eBay number -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
06/16/2015, 17:16:34

1_2_$_57.JPG (165.4 KB)  


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Re: the one with odd embedded squarish chunk and "repair"
Re: the one with odd embedded squarish chunk and "repair" -- Joyce Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: collector78915 Post Reply
06/17/2015, 02:08:12

Hi I've had a good look at the bead and the metal part is very flat to the surface so you cannot see underneath if there has been a crack. it appears two holes may have been drilled each end and then the metal band melted and pushed into any crack present. As for the material of the metal I cant be certain but the metal is non magnetic. Silver possibly?

Regards



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Re: Here is the eBay number
Re: Here is the eBay number -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: collector78915 Post Reply
06/17/2015, 00:18:09

Dear Rosanna

That necklace with the item number does not belong to me so I am unable to say.

Regards



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sorry about that! Copy/paste failure!
Re: Re: Here is the eBay number -- collector78915 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/17/2015, 04:32:30



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Re: Some questions
Re: Some questions -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: kika Post Reply
06/16/2015, 10:37:01

Hi Rosanna
I don't know if I good understood. You always spoke about amber? I saw amber with metal, it was always to repair a piece because amber or copal is very precious for the peul people, and they fasten the two pieces with a metal clip like on this pic: it's often brass metal or very rarely copper. But, in Africa, I'm never seen amber or copal with a big piece of metal surrounding the bead always for the same reason: amber or copal are a sign of wealth. I have to look at my pics, but I don't remember that.

DSC05304.jpg (71.1 KB)  
kika

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No question in my mind that these are fakes
Re: Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- collector78915 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadstore.com Post Reply
06/17/2015, 06:04:35

It's been a very interesting discussion, and I certainly appreciate the seller stepping up to discuss the beads. But there is no question in my mind that these are not an organic material. I've seen many strands of these large, high quality, amber reproductions in Morocco and other places. Real copal is a very different beast. Copal generally doesn't come in sizes that large (particularly that wide), it doesn't polish the way those beads shine, it doesn't include angular blocks in the material, cutting marks, etc.

And don't discount the wisdom of the mass market. People clearly recognize these beads as fake, given the fact that there are no bids. That being said, $10-15 a bead strikes me as a very fair price for nice quality reproductions.


And just for fun, here are a couple of repaired copal beads that I really love.


Abe @ Beadstore.com

Copal1.jpg (42.4 KB)  


Modified by beadstore.com at Wed, Jun 17, 2015, 06:05:08

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Re: No question in my mind that these are fakes
Re: No question in my mind that these are fakes -- beadstore.com Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Heleen Post Reply
07/04/2015, 03:05:44

Oh my god, I love these repaired ambers <3



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Re: Reliable Information About Amber And Copal
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
06/16/2015, 08:02:49



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Some information from Red about recent "amber" bead development
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/16/2015, 08:10:51

This is a write-up worth studying.

http://ethnicjewelsmagazine.com/fossil-amber-beads-a-developing-story/

I believe the only way to figure out any "suspect" beads for sure will be to subject them to chemical analysis. My offer to get a piece analyzed still stands and I would be happy to work with anyone who has interesting unidentified amber -looking beads like these.


Related link: http://ethnicjewelsmagazine.com/fossil-amber-beads-a-developing-story/
Modified by Rosanna at Tue, Jun 16, 2015, 08:22:35

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http://ethnicjewels.ning.com/profiles/blogs/some-information-about-amber?xg_source=activity
Re: Some information from Red about recent "amber" bead development -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
06/16/2015, 08:37:29



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Re: http://ethnicjewels.ning.com/profiles/blogs/some-information-about-amber?xg_source=activity
Re: http://ethnicjewels.ning.com/profiles/blogs/some-information-about-amber?xg_source=activity -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: newtoit Post Reply
06/17/2015, 08:31:10

This may have already been discussed; if so forgive me. I'd like to learn a little more about using UV light to distinguish amber from copal or phenolic. I have some necklaces that I don't want to deconstruct for a float test, and I don't trust my nose enough to rely on the hot pin test alone. I'm truly concerned about representing these beads accurately and feel paralyzed with doubt. Thanks all! AnnieB



Modified by newtoit at Wed, Jun 17, 2015, 08:33:00

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The seller realized nearly three thousand dollars with the "amber."
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
06/20/2015, 17:30:47



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Just "incredible"!!! I need to go into the fake amber bead business!
Re: The seller realized nearly three thousand dollars with the "amber." -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/20/2015, 22:35:57



Modified by Rosanna at Sat, Jun 20, 2015, 22:38:40

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Re: The seller realized nearly three thousand dollars with the "amber."
Re: The seller realized nearly three thousand dollars with the "amber." -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Air studios Post Reply
06/21/2015, 10:35:51

Watched that auction because I bid on one of the beads (I know.. I fell for it, but the beads were so unusual and attractive and I thought the size was incredible.) I was amazed to see the beads sell rapidly because the shipping price was so high... But I checked the bids and almost every auction, including a $2000.00 strand, was won by the same bidder.



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Pieces of old cassette boxes + colorant from China = fake amber
Re: The seller realized nearly three thousand dollars with the "amber." -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2015, 11:53:41

This link was buried in one of the comments included in one of the links posted by Jamey -

http://ethnicjewels.ning.com/video/moroccan-bead-maker

In case you missed it, it is a demonstration of a bead maker in Morocco making a yellow-colored bead from pieces of old cassette tape boxes and some colorant obtained from China. The apparatus consists of an outdoor brazier, heated with a propane cylinder. The use of pieces of broken cassette boxes, or some similar item, could explain the sharp, rectangular inclusions seen in some of the beads.

I'm sure this process could be improved in many ways, and result in a variety of "hand-made" amber-looking beads. And I don't doubt that an additive could be found to make the concoction have a piney odor as well.



Related link: http://ethnicjewels.ning.com/video/moroccan-bead-maker

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If anyone reading has purchased any of these...
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
06/23/2015, 06:21:18

And is willing to send me a small sliver of one so it can be chemically tested, please contact me privately. Thanks!



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Thus far, no feedback has been left or received for these items - just checking.
Re: New to the forum but looking to collect beads can someone help me identfy these?? -- calumw789 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
07/03/2015, 09:11:50



Modified by Joyce at Fri, Jul 03, 2015, 09:13:17

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