Identification of amber

Amber is a fossil resin derived from forest trees nowadays extinct; its colour, its natural transparency and its curious electrostatic properties have always attracted man who used it to make jewels and art objects for centuries.

The laboratory of the Museo d’Arte e Scienza through the infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) is able to:

  • Carry out the recognition of amber falsifications and imitations (plastic substitutes, synthetic amber, etc.)
  • Carry out the recognition of copal (partially fossilized resin), often given as amber (completely fossilized resin).
  • Carry out the attribution to a large number of natural varieties of known ambers both European and extra-European.
  • Carry out the recognition of manipulations of natural material (thermal treatment and clarifying)

Typical FT-IR spectrum of Baltic amber, the most used variety since ancient times