Amber Insects

April 30, 2010

A few years ago Crafthole bought me an amber necklace for christmas and of course the first thing we did was pour over each bead with a hand lens. Sure enough, though it hadn’t been mentioned in the description, we found a little tiny tiny fly in one.

In the photograph above it is the fourteenth bead from the clasp at the top left.

Having found this, the second thing to do, of course, was to get a decent picture of it. These were taken down a microscope and show exquisite detail: hairs and abdomen segments and individual lenses in the compound eyes (though that last was from a more powerful microscope and I was unable to get a photo with that one).

Looking over the other beads with the microscope I was able to see a few other remnents. This spider’s legs and head for example, and various lone legs presumably left by the insects that managed to struggle free.

I have no idea how to tell if these beads really do originate from a Baltic amber mine, which would make these creatures at least forty million years old, or whether they are modern resin from a factory. This necklace came to us via an internet order so who knows. If anybody knows a way of telling I would love to know.

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One Response to “Amber Insects”

  1. Cathy said

    Lots of tests for genuine amber here, some are not destructive!

    love C xx

    http://www.dragonflyamber.com/choosing_amber/pop_how_to_identify_real_amber.html

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