I am currently doing some work at the Unique Auction House in Lincoln, which is giving me a great insight into trends in the jewellery marketplace, and one organic gem producing some stellar sales results is butterscotch amber.
The price realised for a twenty bead amber necklace weighing 69 grams was an outstanding £1700 at Unique Auctions in November 2018, meaning that gram for gram the necklace realised in excess of the value for 18 carat gold. The current demand for Amber is strong, and the type of amber most highly prized by auction buyers is natural, untreated yellow orange, known as ‘butterscotch’ or ‘egg yolk’ amber due to its rich colour. In China this type of amber is believed to bring health and good luck.
From a valuation perspective, differences in the values for amber necklaces are largely attributable to the colour, number and size of the beads. Two marbled cherry amber necklaces also brought excellent prices in the Unique Auctions sale. Amber has many simulants, and there are a battery of tests one can perform to distnguish true butterscotch amber from its simulants. One good non-destructive test is to examine the beads via transmitted light to see if the beads show a swirling marbled pattern.