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» Economics » Decoration » Gem stone » Amber

Page modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 20:02:25


Amber is mostly light to gold yellow and ages to reddish or brownish-yellow, in extreme cases to red tones. Cloudy amber can because of submicroscopically small vesicles (size: 0.0002-0.0008 mm, density: up to 900.000/mm3) white-yellow or knows its. Depending upon contamination or iron sulfide formation in columns the colors become darker. Those are rare cyan of resplendent Berne stones. The blue amber arises usually in connection with white ranges. The emergence of the blue color is not finally clarified, possibly plays the refraction of light a role. In any case one is the blue variant the rarest amber. Amber there are not the Greens actually, since this results only from heating up. A lighter however can occur with cloudy amber.

Amber can be easily ignited contrary to imitations from synthetic resin and shows during burning a bright flame, which russt strongly. It smells resin-industrial union-aromatically and runs at the flame to black, inflexibly confirming measure. The harzige smell develops, if the volatile components (e.g. ethereal oils) of the amber burn. Therefore it is suitable for smoking and becomes for example related in India as Weihrauch replacement for sakrale purposes. Photo:

Physical characteristics

Amber has a Mohs hardness of 2-2,5 and is thereby a quite soft material. It is possible to cut with a copper coin a furrow into the surface of the amber.

Amber is only little heavier than water. Because of its small density (around 1,07) it goes down immediately regarding fresh water, swims however in strongly salzhaltigem water, for example in satisfied saline solution. This characteristic facilitates a collecting and a segregating completely substantially.

Amber has actually no correct melting point. With 170-200 "°C it becomes soft and ductile. Amber melts above 300 "°C and decomposes thereby, i.e. it cannot again to a correct amber cooling. Arrears of this process are then rosin.

Amber has a very high electrical resistance and a very low dielectric constant of 2,9 (nature amber) and/or 2.74 (press amber). In dry environment it can be electrostatically loaded easily by rubbing with textilem fabric or wool. One calls this loading also triboelectricity. This characteristic can be used as simple and non destructive authenticity test: The loaded amber tightens small chads, material fibers or Wollfussel. This effect was in the antique one well-known and by the works by Plinius the older one in the late Middle Ages was already delivered. The English natural scientist William Gilbert dedicated in its 1600 to him work De of magnets magneticisque appeared corporibus its own chapter and differentiated him from the magnetism.

Amber shines under UV irradiation (wavelength 320-380 Nm) in unverwittertem or freshly ground condition blue and in weathered condition in a matte Amber shines, if it is damp or polished, since it exhibits a high refraction of light with a closed surface. It lets happen with layers up to 10 mm thickness x-ray nearly without loss.

Chemical characteristics

Amber consists to 67-81% of carbon, the remainder consists of hydrogen and oxygen as well as sometimes something sulfur (1%). Even if mineral components were stored, also still different elements can occur. Amber is a mixture from different materials and their oxidation products, which are bound in long filamentary molecules. Proven ones soluble components of the amber e.g. are. Isopimars¤ure, as well as The unsolvable component of the amber is an ester, which is called Succinin (or Resen, Sucinoresen). So far are proven over 70 organic compounds, which are involved in the structure of the Baltic amber (Succinit).

Amber is not soluble to a large extent in organic solvents. However it weathers, particularly by atmospheric oxygen and UV effect. It darkens in the outside layers after. With dryness form at the same time outgoing from the surface and existing cavities small, nearly circular tears, the sun guns, which lead with the time to a rauen and surface of the amber. Thus also possibly existing inclusions can be destroyed.

Nature amber reacts only at the surface with Ether, acetone and sulfuric acid. At longer time of reaction it becomes matte. Press amber is less resistant. It becomes doughy and soft with longer contact with the substances specified above. The same applies also in principle to Kopal and synthetic resin, only that a substantially shorter contact is here already sufficient.

Old and world-wide occurrence of the amber

One differentiates different kinds according to place of origin, age and the producing plant from amber.

The most well-known find region amber in Europe is the entire Baltic Sea area; in particular places on the SAM land peninsula (king mountain, Russia) between freshness and Kuri Haff, in Poland and the Baltic republics are productive. The Baltic amber (Succinit) originated in approx. 65-70 million years ago from the resin of the Bernsteinkiefer and is suitable particularly well for the decoration production. No other kind of amber is found in approximately so large quantity and equal lasting quality as the Baltic amber. Largest stores opened in open mining were until 2002 with Jantarny (Palmnicken) at the amber coast with Kaliningrad (king mountain). In addition, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and even in in the meantime rekultivierten open mining Goitz with bitter field (Saxonia-Anhalt) was systematically diminished at times of the GDR Baltic amber. Tacitus already mentioned the Baltic Sea occurrences in its Germania. He spoke of the people "of the Aesti ", which act with amber.

In Tschechien, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and the Ukraine there are amber occurrences likewise. Most well-known are here the amber, the Romanian amber and the Ukrainian amber, which are years old approx. in each case 100 million.

At the Netherlands, German and Danish North Sea Coast, in the Danish Jutland ( amber), on which as well as at the Swedish coast amber knows Danish islands after storms by is found. In Germany there are also larger occurrences in areas - e.g. in the nature park Barnim between Berlin and Eberswalde (Brandenburg). One found it in valley and surfaces of the Urstromtales with adjustments and canal constructions pulling after Thorn. Archaeologists assume the close border to today's Poland a historical commercial centre.

Both in Switzerland and in Austria and France amber occurrences are well-known. Amber from Swiss alps is approx. 55-200 million years old, such from Golling approx. 225-231 million years. The well-known Sicilian amber (Simetit) originated in however 10-20 million years ago.

In Africa one finds Kopal at the coastal countries of east and west Africa, above all however on Madagascar. This Madagascar amber in such a way specified is however only 1.000-10.000 years old and consists of the rigid resin of the Bernsteinpinie. In Nigeria is also amber, which is years old approx. 60 million.

Of Americas most well-known amber is the Dominican Amber from the Dominican republic, desired by its clarity and his wealth at fossil inclusions. It originated in 35 million years ago from the deciduous tree Algarrobo (Prosopis pallida).

In Asia one finds amber particularly in the front Orient and in Myanmar (earlier Burma/Burma). The Lebanon amber is approx. 130-135 million years and the Burma amber (Burmit) approx. 50 million years old.

One can find Berne stones of the Australian-oceanic area in New Zealand and on Borneo (Sawak amber). They are approx. 20-60, partly 70-100 million years old.

The oldest Berne stones are sporadically well-known from the Devonian.

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