copal-simulations-from-africa-and-moroccoCOPAL SIMULATIONS FROM AFRICA AND MOROCCO. Among the most numerous copies, copal simulations from Africa are possibly made of phenolic plastic (2.4 cm diameter). The lower strand is ceramic and sold by weight, costing about $18 to $31 per strand in the late 1980s. Courtesy of Rita Okrent.
CARVED AND PLAIN COPAL IMITATIONS of thermosetting plastics, heat-treated to enhance color. This strand is one of four claimed to be carved amber from Tibet, where no such tradition exists. They were selling for more than $1,000 each in Arizona, an example of outrageous fraud that may not have tricked any collectors; ca. 3.2 cm diameter each. Courtesy of Gabrielle Liese.
BIRD BEADS FROM INDONESIA. The left specimen, an ancient glass bead with trailed bird and sunburst designs, is genuine, 1.5 cm diameter. The center is an authentic Indo-Pacific bead (as are the red glass ones alongside) with a bird design ground into it; the depression then is filled with a water-soluble material. The right specimen is a contemporary wound bead with a poor copy of the bird design in trailing. Many glass imitations are made in Java, which has an active glass bead industry. Courtesy of Elizabeth J. Harris and Cecilia Molano.

Our upcoming issue 37.4 contains


Nubian Jewelry

Kate Mensah

Philadelphia Craft Show


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