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good source for amber???


Jacques Vesery

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Anyone know of a good source/ sources for amber? The gem shows in maine are few and far between.... I'm looking for pieces with good color [and variety], little or no inclusions and few fissures and/or cracks. Tall order, I know... but more important when buying site unseen or from a photo......si?es from 40mm x 15mm x 20mm min. to as big as I can afford... not looking for a deal though, just quality roughs

peace

Jacques

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Do you mean 1.5 cm - 2.0 cm? Those are small. I will look and see if I have the address for the fellow whom I seek at the gem and mineral show which comes to Minneapolis area twice a year. I get there once every two years or so. That is the where I drop to the floor with the boxes or hog a space at the counter, peering into the amber pieces for at least one daydream apiece. I come home with a handful, and there it remains in my drawers until I am ready for a challenge. I've got one that will be a spider with a flossy egg web-ball, but I just don't feel ready to put tools to it.

 

I think that the man's business name is Peter's amber. http://www.petersamber.com came up with a search, but I thought that he was located in Florida a while back... I'll see about contact information at the studio...

 

Are you looking for clear amber? I also look for the little or no inclusions or cracks, and it is hit and miss at the gem shows.

 

Janel

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Buyer beware. :blink:

 

Thanks Kathleen.

 

 

thanks to all for your imput... very helpful. I am concerned with getting fake or copal, which usally

looks like a deal,pricewise......

 

Has anyone heard of or dealt with glen osborne in canada?

http://www.chiapasambercreations.com/

 

also does anyone have some small pcs. you may want to sell or trade?... I have a fair amount of

various ivory from my scrimshaw days

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Do you mean 1.5 cm - 2.0 cm?  Those are small.  I will look and see if I have the address for the fellow whom I seek at the gem and mineral show which comes to Minneapolis area twice a year.  I get there once every two years or so.  That is the where I drop to the floor with the boxes or hog a space at the counter, peering into the amber pieces for at least one daydream apiece.  I come home with a handful, and there it remains in my drawers until I am ready for a challenge.  I've got one that will be a spider with a flossy egg web-ball, but I just don't feel ready to put tools to it. 

 

I think that the man's business name is Peter's amber.  http://www.petersamber.com came up with a search, but I thought that he was located in Florida a while back... I'll see about contact information at the studio...

 

Are you looking for clear amber?  I also look for the little or no inclusions or cracks, and it is hit and miss at the gem shows.

 

Janel

 

I am hoping to find a handful of pcs. which can be as small as 2cm [these are for pcs. sim. to below, 30mm x 14mm] and would love to have a veriety to choose from in color and clearity.... some of the pcs. on glen's site look good but I'm hesitant, with no background.....

 

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It is difficult to imagine purchasing amber without actually having a look at it. Maybe you will have to take a trip somewhere to handle amber and make a significant purchase. Perhaps a phone call to one or another of the USA dealers might help pinpoint your wishes. Perhaps an arrangement might be agreed upon to be able to return a portion of a shipment for a refund of what you don't want from a lot that might be shipped to you. Somewhere trust will have to enter into an arrangement. I wish that I had more dealings with the amber person I make my purchases from. I just have not been able to make the shows in the past year or so, having been out of town on those dates. I will look ahead to the next one in the Minneapolis metro area this spring.

 

Oh, I have not been to the studio yet since I promised to look for the amber dealer info, but I have a note to look up the info on my pile waiting to go out with me.

 

Janel

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Anyone  know of a good source/ sources for amber? The gem shows in maine are few and far between.... I'm  looking for pieces  with good color [and variety], little or no inclusions and few fissures and/or cracks. Tall order, I know... but more important when buying site unseen or from a photo......si?es from  40mm x 15mm x 20mm min. to as big as I can afford... not looking for a deal though, just quality roughs

peace

Jacques

 

Greetings,

 

I do several mineral shows in the US, however, I do not deal in amber so I can't really tell you anything about the dealers that I am providing you. Here are a few:

www.amberworld.com; Amberama--email pberankis@hotmail.com; Amberman, www.amberman.com; Amber Gems, ambergems.com; Amber #1, Inc., www.amberbeata.com. If you can't find anything usable there let me know and I'll contact other dealer friends and try to find someone that sells what you are looking for.

 

Good Luck

Jimmy McNeil

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Greetings,

 

I do several mineral shows in the US, however, I do not deal in amber so I can't really tell you anything about the dealers that I am providing you.  Here are a few:

www.amberworld.com; Amberama--email pberankis@hotmail.com; Amberman, www.amberman.com; Amber Gems, ambergems.com; Amber #1, Inc., www.amberbeata.com.  If you can't find anything usable there let me know and I'll contact other dealer friends and try to find someone that sells what you are looking for.

 

Good Luck

Jimmy McNeil

Thanks Jim!

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I forgot Larry Cohen(Oso Famoso). He's mostly known for handling scrimshaw and Mammoth ivory, but I remembered he had some amber 15 years ago so I contacted him. He does handle amber and is a reliable, reputable guy, and has been at this a long time. He assures me that his material is all genuine and un-reconstituted. It's mostly from Chiapas and some from the Baltics. You can contact him through his website:

Oso Famoso

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I forgot Larry Cohen(Oso Famoso). He's mostly known for handling scrimshaw and Mammoth ivory, but I remembered he had some amber 15 years ago so I contacted him. He does handle amber and is a reliable, reputable guy, and has been at this a long time. He assures me that his material is all genuine and un-reconstituted. It's mostly from Chiapas and some from the Baltics. You can contact him through his website:

Oso Famoso

thanks Jim... i know him from my scrim days... i did some work for him as well.... didn't know he was still around and/ or dealt with amber.... this is a big help

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  • 2 years later...

Hi everybody, my name is Adam Spiegel. I am in the Chicago area. I am well known here as a specialist in amber. I am a dealer and a collector, and I sell mainly to carvers and cutters. I only deal in one kind of amber, and that is amber from Mexico, from the State of Chiapas. I do know Glen Osborne but he is not selling amber anymore. I have been collecting and selling Mexican amber for 15 years because it is the finest in terms of clarity, color variation and hardness. A good carver can cut and carve this material to very fine specifications.

 

Anyway, there is a LOT of misinformation and outright falsehoods floating around about amber. I would be happy to answer any question about amber, the various localities where it is found, how to tell outright fakes from the real thing, the truth behind red, green and blue amber, as well as the copal/amber question, among other things. And if someone wants some high quality rough, let me know, I go to Mexico twice a year on buying trips and always get good material.

 

It is unfortunate but most dealers of gem materials know little or nothing about amber. I have lectured on amber at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, Illinois, the State Microscopical Society of Illinois, and many other gem clubs and scientific groups. If you want straight facts, just ask.

 

Attached are some photos. They show the incredible natural variation in 100% natural Chiapas amber, including the green and green/blue "flash" which many pieces who in reflected light. One set of photos is of a 1201 gram piece of rough, back lit to show the colors. Although this one was unusual for its size and clarity, it is not unusual for me to obtain large pieces of rough for carvers, often free of internal fractures and very clean (I hand select the rough onsite in Mexico from my network of friends and suppliers). Mexican amber often glows a deep blue in longwave UV light ("blacklight"), another selling point which adds a new dimension to amber carving. Baltic amber rarely shows fluorsecence of any kind.

 

Again, feel free to ask anything about amber.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Adam Spiegel

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Anyone know of a good source/ sources for amber? The gem shows in maine are few and far between.... I'm looking for pieces with good color [and variety], little or no inclusions and few fissures and/or cracks. Tall order, I know... but more important when buying site unseen or from a photo......si?es from 40mm x 15mm x 20mm min. to as big as I can afford... not looking for a deal though, just quality roughs

peace

Jacques

 

For small clean pieces, have you considered using precut cabochons? If you call the people at Rio Grande I'd bet that they could select you out some clean pieces.

LJ

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  • 4 months later...

I would be very, very careful about pre-cut cabs. There is a lot of fake amber out there, and many cabs are made of reconstituted amber. If it's dead clear with no inclusions, I would automatically dismiss it as reconstituted unless you have good reason to believe otherwise.

 

"Columbian amber" is a softish copal. I've done some work in it and it's a nice material, but considerably more sensitive to heat and light than genuine amber of any type and should be much cheaper. There are other kinds of copal which are harder but they are not easy to find.

 

If anybody here is truly interested, there is a gent who lives right across the river from my town who has been an amber dealer for years and years. He is well respected in the trade. He doesn't have a website. I have been to visit him and he does have some spectacular stuff, including pieces large enough for netsuke size carvings, though most of what he has acquired recently is Dominican and not cheap. I don't know how he's doing with Baltic, which is getting difficult to acquire from Poland or Lithuania. He also has some very fine, large pieces of the harder copals, though I am not sure he would be willing to part with those.

 

I can give him your contact information, assuming he is not currently in Japan, but you gotta be serious about it.

 

Again, the watchword with amber is indeed buyer beware.

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Another possibility--

 

GemMaker

 

I started studying lapidary with Derek back in the mid '90s and he continued to teach me for several years, until I got my sea legs. If you do want to go with cabs or free forms, you can rely on his stuff being for real. However, he will not sell you rough and so you will pay for his labor. And of course, no matter how high the dome, pre-cut cabs and freeforms are not likely to be very thick. It's been a long while since he updated his site and he's currently got major agida from a shop fire. I don't know if the site is up to date far as what has been sold goes, of if any of the listed pieces were destroyed in this unfortunate incident.

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I would be very, very careful about pre-cut cabs. There is a lot of fake amber out there, and many cabs are made of reconstituted amber. If it's dead clear with no inclusions, I would automatically dismiss it as reconstituted unless you have good reason to believe otherwise.

 

"Columbian amber" is a softish copal. I've done some work in it and it's a nice material, but considerably more sensitive to heat and light than genuine amber of any type and should be much cheaper. There are other kinds of copal which are harder but they are not easy to find.

 

If anybody here is truly interested, there is a gent who lives right across the river from my town who has been an amber dealer for years and years. He is well respected in the trade. He doesn't have a website. I have been to visit him and he does have some spectacular stuff, including pieces large enough for netsuke size carvings, though most of what he has acquired recently is Dominican and not cheap. I don't know how he's doing with Baltic, which is getting difficult to acquire from Poland or Lithuania. He also has some very fine, large pieces of the harder copals, though I am not sure he would be willing to part with those.

 

I can give him your contact information, assuming he is not currently in Japan, but you gotta be serious about it.

 

Again, the watchword with amber is indeed buyer beware.

 

 

All of this is EXACTLY why I suggested calling Rio Grande. They will be able to tell you what treatments, if any, have been done on any of their materials.

They take the laws which require jewelers (their main clients) to disclose all treatments to a customer VERY seriously.

LJ

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Rio Grande is generally a good source for materials, didn't mean to imply they weren't. I meant gem and mineral shows, (including Tucson) and from numerous other sources advertised in gem and mineral magazines. A lot of dealers sell a lot of reconstituded amber as genuine (which it is, in a way). I got taken once, back when I was getting started in lapidary, at a fairly large show. I simply made the mistake of thinking that the dealers must be honest because the show was a prestigious one. Fortunately I didn't buy much of it. And again, I don't know if standard calibrated cabs would have the required depth for carving purposes, unless Jacques is looking to do relief carving.

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  • 2 years later...

I am also interested in finding a reputable place to buy some amber rough! It doesn't have to be particularly clear (I kind of like the inclusions), and in pieces maybe around 2.5cm x 2.5cm or bigger. I just have no clue where to even start looking! So far the only one that looks promising is gemmaker.com

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