Amber has had quite the rollercoaster journey at auction over the last five years. In 2014 there were several record prices for amber bead necklaces specifically. One, estimated at £100–200 made £8000 and another estimated at £1000–2000 made £3200. In the following years, however, there was a dip in interest with some examples failing to attract bidding. In McTear’s most recent jewellery auction, two necklaces sold for £600, however, showing that, once again, amber is on the rise.
Amber is fossilised tree resin and has featured in jewellery for thousands of years. It comes in many forms, from transparent brown to red to opaque yellow/orange. The most valued at auction oscillates between the red (cherry) type and the opaque yellow (butterscotch.) In the 12 August Jewellery Auction lot 11 is a butterscotch amber necklace, with a conservative estimate £100–200 this one is sure to fly on the day.
McTear’s sells more jewellery than any other Scottish auction house in the dedicated jewellery auctions that take place twice monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.