A variation of the mysterious and confusing material,amber, copal and ressin.
the only amber in ths picture are the pieces doen on the left. (all I have left of my beautiful collection. The are light in weight, if thrown into water they drift down to the bottom. their weight is 1.1 compared to water 1. They are rather soft and brittle and if not protected the beads are often worn through at the hole and the sides coned of. Large piece necklaces were often protecte for that by having pieces of leather strung in between the beads.
The necklace on the right is what people call copal. The ressin from the trees has been given an hardening process. There are two colors in Ethiopia,yellow and red (red is clear,if amber very rare as beads). This necklace is slightly brown because if has been worn for some years (10) The opaque copal beads of Ethiopia if genuine, do get gradually darker in colour when worn and this because of the sun and the heat of the skin. So.....after many years a piece like the middle chain is the result.
this represent at least several generations. And I was lucky to be called by the dealers when some arrived in town.
By the way Amber or copal is mostly worn by the moslem women and they believe stongly in the protection against evil things and ilnesses special concerning the longs. This is also the case for many countries who believe in amber.
The three loose beads show the different ages in the color. This for the yellow colored .
This antique copal is very much sought after, has become rare and therefore pricy.
The weight of copal is heavy throw them into the water and the plomp down straight to the bottom.
Amber,copal will burn and pastic will melt (if a match is held to it. All the variations of different countries I do not know, because they have become very devious to immitate these materials. And therefore be alert when they use the termination amber or even the copal.
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