Amber Alert!

Amber has been causing quite a stir in auction salerooms for the last few years and currently certain amber is selling for roughly the same price as 22ct gold. Formed from fossilised resin of ancient trees, at the grand old age of between 15 and 300 million years, it is mind-boggling to think that even at that age, it could still be younger than the diamonds in your engagement ring!

The first identified pieces of amber used for ornamental purposes date from the Neolithic era, typically carved and used as either amulets or beads. It is astounding to think that these practises are still the same thousands of years later.

Today the two main buyers of amber are Chinese and Arabic as traditionally it is used as prayer beads in both cultures. The Chinese consider amber good luck and believe in its medicinal properties. Contrastingly, Arabic buyers believe amber symbolises prosperity and status. The most popular colour is described as ‘butterscotch’, the warm orange to yellow beads are often opaque and can often have lighter streaks throughout.

In our last two auctions we have been fortunate enough to offer a string of butterscotch amber beads in each sale. We had bids in the room, on the telephone and the internet, until finally both realised around £3000 each, which we were delighted to achieve for our vendors.

Now is the time to offer amber beads for auction while the market is still hot. If you would like an opinion on value for your amber, please do give me a call on 0121 455 8042 or email jennifer.pardoe@biddleandwebb.com and we can discuss the process.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Jennifer Pardoe FGA

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