The price of amber is determined by the different life forms which are found in the stone. Intact insects, plants, flowers etc will increase the value of amber and these stones will be highly priced. Typically, an amber necklace with say, a trapped dragonfly, will have a high price and will enjoy a heavy demand in the market.
The prices of these gems can vary depending upon the clarity, color, polish and size of the piece. The prices mentioned in this article are in general for gems of fairly good color and good clarity. Opaque pieces of amber can usually be bought quite cheap – for as much as $0.10 to $1 for a carat or less. For pieces around an inch in size and with insect inclusions, the prices can range from $50 to $60. An average stone of a good size and with inclusions would cost around $195.
Good wholesale quality beads can also be purchased for as low as $15. Shapeless and uneven pieces without any fossil inclusions ranging from 1 to 1.5 inches in size and weighing around 10 to 12 carats would cost anywhere between $30 to $40. Polished beads without any inclusions of about 1 centimeter usually cost from $1 to $2 per carat.
Many a times, this gem is heated to give it an old or aged look. These pieces usually cost less compared to a similar piece having the original color.
Amber pieces with unusual flora and fauna are a collector’s item. Fossils in this gem always increase its value and beauty. A pendant with inclusions is guaranteed to get a good price in the market. A carved ring is also very highly priced in the market.
A significant difference in the price of the amber is made depending on the period from which the amber originates from. The older the gemstone, the higher is its price. However, it is not easy to identify the age of the stone. Most gemological laboratories also do not often certify amber gemstones. The process of finding out the age of the amber stone involves identifying the inclusions present in the stone and estimating the period in which it existed.
There is an interesting piece of news about a piece of Dominican amber with inclusions. Recently, such a piece with a large lizard trapped inside it was sold for $ 75000. This figure cannot really give us a hint of how high a price this gemstone can fetch.
In fact, the amount of history associated with amber jewelry would only serve to increase its market value. Similarly, antique jewelry or a pendant with insect is very highly valued in the market.
There are frequent attempts made in the market to sell amber ‘simulants’ as genuine amber. Simulants of this gem include ambroid, copal resin, kauri gum, dammar, celluloid and plastic. These simulants would normally cost a fraction of what a real stone costs.
Thus, we can see that the price of this gemstone mostly depends upon factors such as age, inclusions, quality and size.
By Mithun Rao
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