The round beads contained dark brown plant debris and a variety of insects: ants, flies, and spiders, all in good condition. The beads’ surfaces also featured noticeable circular zones, and when exposed to long-wave UV radiation, they displayed a weak, blue fluorescence and distinctive chalky blue circular areas (figure 2). The beads were inert to short-wave UV radiation.
These features were similar to those of copal filled with plastic (Winter 2010 GNI, pp. 326–328). We obtained spot RI readings of 1.52 on the circular zones and 1.54 elsewhere. Next, we analyzed the strand using Raman spectroscopy with a 785 nm diode laser. The separator link and the main portion of the beads showed peaks between 1434 and 1644 cm–1, consistent with amber. The circular areas’ strong bands at 623, 807, 1100, and 1599 cm–1 were consistent with epoxy resin (figure 3).
Microscopic examination with immersion in water indicated that all the round beads had been cored and filled (figure 4). The beads were identified as amber filled with colorless to light yellow plastic to imitate insect-bearing amber.
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