Is this Ambergris

    Is this Ambergris

    post #1 of 28
    Thread Starter 

    Does anybody think this could be Abergris? Found on the Northwest Coast of England, UK. 

     

    post #2 of 28
    Holy Crap that look like the stem of a huge psychedelic mushroom. But getting to your question, if that is ambergris you are very rich. But to me it looks like drift wood. How does it smell.
    post #3 of 28

    I've never seen raw ambergris, but agree that the pictures bear a strong resemblance to driftwood - particularly the shape.

     

    As williampaul1969 says - the smell should help to identify it, or local Natural History Museums can often give useful contacts.

     

    These guys buy it.

    .

    post #4 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by williampaul1969 View Post

    Holy Crap that look like the stem of a huge psychedelic mushroom.
    LOL!
    post #5 of 28
    Doesn't look like it. Ambergris isn't wood, its actually whale vomit as gross as that sounds
    post #6 of 28
    That's driftwood.
    post #7 of 28

    Yes, my thought too, treeman, the link has pictures in it for the O.P. to check out.

    post #8 of 28
    And it's not necessarily the texture of the thing so much as the shape that disproves it as ambergris: I highly doubt that long, crooked mass could be emitted from a whale without extreme discomfort.
    post #9 of 28
    Looks like driftwood.
    post #10 of 28

    I think it even has woodworm!

    post #11 of 28

    Certainly looks a little like driftwood, particularly the wide end. However there are indications that it could be Ambergris. I would really need to see some better pictures of it. We have acquired lots of mature Ambergris and have seen pieces that resemble that photographed. Higher definition pictures would help, especially ones looking at its cross section.

    Regards

    Ambercelt

    ps I would recommend that anyone who has an interest in anything and everything you need to know about Ambergris, should buy Chris Kemps book "floating gold" it gives a great insight into the subject

    post #12 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ambercelt View Post

    Certainly looks a little like driftwood, particularly the wide end. However there are indications that it could be Ambergris. I would really need to see some better pictures of it. We have acquired lots of mature Ambergris and have seen pieces that resemble that photographed. Higher definition pictures would help, especially ones looking at its cross section.
    Regards
    Ambercelt
    ps I would recommend that anyone who has an interest in anything and everything you need to know about Ambergris, should buy Chris Kemps book "floating gold" it gives a great insight into the subject
    I read that book. There's no way that's ambergris
    post #13 of 28
    Fair play to you for your certainty on the subject, I like to keep an open mind until the evidence clearly shows otherwise. Having seen, felt and smelt the variability of presentation of Ambergris, from the freshest stinking blackish pieces, to the fleetingly elusive chalky white and about 40 other pieces of Ambergris, I'll withhold judgement for the moment.
    Ambercelt
    post #14 of 28

    A quick test might help : If you put a hot needle to it, does it melt and give off any scent? 

    post #15 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nymphaea View Post

    A quick test might help : If you put a hot needle to it, does it melt and give off any scent? 

    No, bad advice: it is wood, so he'll burn his house, the surrounding countryside, and all the humble townsfolk therein. Don't die, OP--I just won't have it.
    post #16 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ambercelt View Post

    Fair play to you for your certainty on the subject, I like to keep an open mind until the evidence clearly shows otherwise. Having seen, felt and smelt the variability of presentation of Ambergris, from the freshest stinking blackish pieces, to the fleetingly elusive chalky white and about 40 other pieces of Ambergris, I'll withhold judgement for the moment.
    Ambercelt

    I agree. I found some slightly similar "fake" ambergris, and during the process of disproving it as ambergris, I saw quite a few pictures of the real thing. They ranged in appearance from styrofoam to limestone to excrement to solidified molten green glass to black pebbles to brown rocks.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nymphaea View Post

    A quick test might help : If you put a hot needle to it, does it melt and give off any scent? 

    That's how I disproved mine - the smoke smelled perfectly woody when I did that. Turned out that it was just a knot from a certain tree with very rubbery bark, which had been sun-bleached and water-polished into looking almost mineralic. Floating on water conflicted with the mineralish appearance. Woody smoke showed that it was vegetable, not animal.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by treeman5823 View Post

    No, bad advice: it is wood, so he'll burn his house, the surrounding countryside, and all the humble townsfolk therein. Don't die, OP--I just won't have it.

    LOL! If I had that much luck starting fires, I'd say forget the propane stove! wink.gif
    post #17 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post


    I agree. I found some slightly similar "fake" ambergris, and during the process of disproving it as ambergris, I saw quite a few pictures of the real thing. They ranged in appearance from styrofoam to limestone to excrement to solidified molten green glass to black pebbles to brown rocks.
    That's how I disproved mine - the smoke smelled perfectly woody when I did that. Turned out that it was just a knot from a certain tree with very rubbery bark, which had been sun-bleached and water-polished into looking almost mineralic. Floating on water conflicted with the mineralish appearance. Woody smoke showed that it was vegetable, not animal.
    LOL! If I had that much luck starting fires, I'd say forget the propane stove! wink.gif

    The definitive test is the hot needle test, but only when you are familiar with the scent that emanates... there are a huge range of items that will float, will give off smoke to a hot needle test and which will leave a dark tarry pool afterwards. Even the aforementioned stinking dark pieces will still exhibit the amber note in the mix of the "Oily / fishy" and dungy notes which can really be overpowering in those fresh pieces. There are a couple of youtube clips online that give a lot of visual information... the visual being only half the battle though... look up "potvis schat" on youtube and you'll get the others clips from there. Chris Kemps book is well worth the read and for reference /guidance... And no, I'm not Chris Kemp! in disguise!!!!grin.gif

    post #18 of 28

    8/2/13 at 9:49am

    Dknower said:



    Does anybody think this could be Abergris? Found on the Northwest Coast of England, UK. 

     

    8/2/13 at 12:24pm

    williampaul1969 said:



    Holy Crap that look like the stem of a huge psychedelic mushroom. But getting to your question, if that is ambergris you are very rich. But to me it looks like drift wood. How does it smell.

    8/2/13 at 12:35pm

    lpp said:



    I've never seen raw ambergris, but agree that the pictures bear a strong resemblance to driftwood - particularly the shape.

     

    As williampaul1969 says - the smell should help to identify it, or local Natural History Museums can often give useful contacts.

     

    These guys buy it.

    .

    8/2/13 at 12:39pm

    hednic said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by williampaul1969 View Post

    Holy Crap that look like the stem of a huge psychedelic mushroom.
    LOL!

    8/2/13 at 12:42pm

    Preston H said:



    Doesn't look like it. Ambergris isn't wood, its actually whale vomit as gross as that sounds

    8/2/13 at 1:25pm

    treeman5823 said:



    That's driftwood.

    8/2/13 at 1:51pm

    lpp said:



    Yes, my thought too, treeman, the link has pictures in it for the O.P. to check out.

    8/2/13 at 2:07pm

    treeman5823 said:



    And it's not necessarily the texture of the thing so much as the shape that disproves it as ambergris: I highly doubt that long, crooked mass could be emitted from a whale without extreme discomfort.

    8/3/13 at 2:30am

    hedonist222 said:



    Looks like driftwood.

    8/3/13 at 2:32am

    lpp said:



    I think it even has woodworm!

    8/5/13 at 3:13am

    Ambercelt said:



    Certainly looks a little like driftwood, particularly the wide end. However there are indications that it could be Ambergris. I would really need to see some better pictures of it. We have acquired lots of mature Ambergris and have seen pieces that resemble that photographed. Higher definition pictures would help, especially ones looking at its cross section.

    Regards

    Ambercelt

    ps I would recommend that anyone who has an interest in anything and everything you need to know about Ambergris, should buy Chris Kemps book "floating gold" it gives a great insight into the subject

    8/5/13 at 3:28am

    Preston H said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ambercelt View Post

    Certainly looks a little like driftwood, particularly the wide end. However there are indications that it could be Ambergris. I would really need to see some better pictures of it. We have acquired lots of mature Ambergris and have seen pieces that resemble that photographed. Higher definition pictures would help, especially ones looking at its cross section.
    Regards
    Ambercelt
    ps I would recommend that anyone who has an interest in anything and everything you need to know about Ambergris, should buy Chris Kemps book "floating gold" it gives a great insight into the subject
    I read that book. There's no way that's ambergris

    8/5/13 at 9:55am

    Ambercelt said:



    Fair play to you for your certainty on the subject, I like to keep an open mind until the evidence clearly shows otherwise. Having seen, felt and smelt the variability of presentation of Ambergris, from the freshest stinking blackish pieces, to the fleetingly elusive chalky white and about 40 other pieces of Ambergris, I'll withhold judgement for the moment.
    Ambercelt

    8/5/13 at 10:03am

    Nymphaea said:



    A quick test might help : If you put a hot needle to it, does it melt and give off any scent? 

    8/5/13 at 10:14pm

    treeman5823 said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nymphaea View Post

    A quick test might help : If you put a hot needle to it, does it melt and give off any scent? 

    No, bad advice: it is wood, so he'll burn his house, the surrounding countryside, and all the humble townsfolk therein. Don't die, OP--I just won't have it.

    8/5/13 at 11:24pm

    Redneck Perfumisto said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ambercelt View Post

    Fair play to you for your certainty on the subject, I like to keep an open mind until the evidence clearly shows otherwise. Having seen, felt and smelt the variability of presentation of Ambergris, from the freshest stinking blackish pieces, to the fleetingly elusive chalky white and about 40 other pieces of Ambergris, I'll withhold judgement for the moment.
    Ambercelt

    I agree. I found some slightly similar "fake" ambergris, and during the process of disproving it as ambergris, I saw quite a few pictures of the real thing. They ranged in appearance from styrofoam to limestone to excrement to solidified molten green glass to black pebbles to brown rocks.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nymphaea View Post

    A quick test might help : If you put a hot needle to it, does it melt and give off any scent? 

    That's how I disproved mine - the smoke smelled perfectly woody when I did that. Turned out that it was just a knot from a certain tree with very rubbery bark, which had been sun-bleached and water-polished into looking almost mineralic. Floating on water conflicted with the mineralish appearance. Woody smoke showed that it was vegetable, not animal.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by treeman5823 View Post

    No, bad advice: it is wood, so he'll burn his house, the surrounding countryside, and all the humble townsfolk therein. Don't die, OP--I just won't have it.

    LOL! If I had that much luck starting fires, I'd say forget the propane stove! wink.gif

    8/6/13 at 3:50am

    Ambercelt said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post


    I agree. I found some slightly similar "fake" ambergris, and during the process of disproving it as ambergris, I saw quite a few pictures of the real thing. They ranged in appearance from styrofoam to limestone to excrement to solidified molten green glass to black pebbles to brown rocks.
    That's how I disproved mine - the smoke smelled perfectly woody when I did that. Turned out that it was just a knot from a certain tree with very rubbery bark, which had been sun-bleached and water-polished into looking almost mineralic. Floating on water conflicted with the mineralish appearance. Woody smoke showed that it was vegetable, not animal.
    LOL! If I had that much luck starting fires, I'd say forget the propane stove! wink.gif

    The definitive test is the hot needle test, but only when you are familiar with the scent that emanates... there are a huge range of items that will float, will give off smoke to a hot needle test and which will leave a dark tarry pool afterwards. Even the aforementioned stinking dark pieces will still exhibit the amber note in the mix of the "Oily / fishy" and dungy notes which can really be overpowering in those fresh pieces. There are a couple of youtube clips online that give a lot of visual information... the visual being only half the battle though... look up "potvis schat" on youtube and you'll get the others clips from there. Chris Kemps book is well worth the read and for reference /guidance... And no, I'm not Chris Kemp! in disguise!!!!grin.gif