Copal | Gemopedia

Copal can be thought of as 'baby amber.' Like its much older counterpart, it is a hardened resin that originated as tree sap. Copal is similar in both appearance and chemistry to amber. Opinions vary from source to source as to when copal becomes amber, but the general consensus is that organic resin younger than 10 million years old is copal, while anything older is amber. As amber can be as old as 360 million years old, copal is substantially younger.
Colors
Yellow, Orange, Brown

Copal Classification

Common Name

Copal

Species

NA

Variety

Colors

Yellow, Orange, Brown

Alternate Names

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

Fluorescence, SG, salt water float test. Acetone will attack copal rapidly but not amber

Comments

Copal is an immature (young) version of amber.

Copal Optical Properties

Transparency

Transparent - Translucent

Refractive Index

1.54-1.54
Tolerance:(-0.010)

Birefringence

Optic Character

Optic Sign

Polariscope Reaction

Singly Refractive (SR) With ADR

Fluorescence

SWUV: Inert to strong bluish white more than amber
LWUV: Inert to weak bluish white

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

None

Dispersion

Comments

Copal Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

Chemical Formula

amorphous organic material fossilized resin

Synthesis

Crystal System

NA

Classification

Organic

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Non-Crystalline

Comments

Copal Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

2

Streak

Specific Gravity

1.1-1.03 Typical:1.06

Toughness

Poor

Inclusions

Copal might show surface crazing.

Luster

Vitreous

Stability

Poor

Fracture

Conchoidal, Uneven

Cleavage

None

Comments

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