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The stones you have bought look fine. With Baltic amber you will often see a lot of small cracks in the surface, stelate trichromes (those hairy 'bunches') etc. Really, you get what you pay for. You've bought an inexpensive couple of specimens. The pieces of amber that they are in are small and the insects are also small. I wouldn't worry. The supply of Baltic amber pieces with small inclusions is plentiful and it would be more hassle than it is worth to fake these specimens for a couple of pounds.
It's the specimens that contain large inclusions and rare inclusions, that are free from any flaws and look too good for the price that you need to watch out for.
A very good test is to see if the amber fluoreses in UV light. That's a good sign. Also, does it float in very salty water? - It should.

Hope this helps, Joe
Fossils are great.
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Hi all.

As a family I couldn't say that we're heavily into fossils. We've had the typical trip to Lyme Regis in which fossil hunting was a primary focus, we've been to Tilton Railway Cutting. We've got a collection of "normal" fossils, including some we bought from Leicester's Museum, some we bought from UKGE.COM,  some we bought from a stall in Bath's main street, and even a collection of devil's toenails collected after I noticed that a local river had loads of them on the river bed. None of these are fancy expensive fossils. The only thing we have that cost more than a couple of pounds is our megladon tooth from UKGE.COM, which cost all of ƒâ€š‚£20.

Just yesterday I decided that it would be very nice if we had an "insect in amber" fossil. These seem to be quite cheaply available.  However, having read around, it seems that there are a lot of fake amber fossils around. I've read up on some of the pages, and can now probably recognise some of the most crude fakes, but pages describing fakes say that some of the more sophisticated fakes are very hard to spot, suggesting that a less knowledgeable person such as myself could be easily fooled.

So, how is it possible for a person such as myself to buy a fossil in amber for a reasonable price without ending up with a fake?. Looking at his/her fossils, they don't seem to show the obvious fake signs such as too glossy amber, too central insect, insect with colour remaining, too even amber, or anything else I can spot. But, could a more experienced person tell me if these are likely to be genuine. Or, where else I should look. I'm not after a "special", "rare", or medium sized or larger amber fossil, e.g. one with a vertebrate in it, just whatever the amber equivalent of a devil's toenail is would be fine.

I'm not sure where this post fits in the hierarchy, so I've put it here as I'm currently looking at these fossils from Lithuania, which is in Europe.

EDIT, links to fossils for sale, whether in auctions or otherwise, are not allowed.
Edited by Bill G 2011-11-09 19:47:10
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Hello, anyone?

As it happens I forgot to cancel my snipe with an online sniping service. And won the above auction. I was going to cancel as I was unsure, but was busy and forgot. Oh well, I'll have a closer look when they arrive. Since there are two small specimens, I suppose I could use a hot needle on one of them to see what they smell like.

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I have a piece that I bought in Bulgaria that I was a bit suspicious about but it looked nice. Tried the hot needle & wasn't convinced so put it back in display cabinet. Opened cabinet yesterday & the smell of pine resin is really strong, still not sure though as it looks too good to be true.

Maggie F.
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