Copal Gemstone & Information | Gemopedia by JTV | Gemopedia™

Copal

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

    CommonName
    Copal
    Species
    NA
    Variety
    Colors
    Yellow, Orange, Brown
    AlternateNames
    GemstoneGroups
    KeySeparations
    Fluorescence, SG, salt water float test. Acetone will attack copal rapidly but not amber
    ClassificationComments
    Copal is an immature (young) version of amber.
  • Copal chemistry & crystallography

    ChemicalName
    ChemicalFormula
    amorphous organic material fossilized resin
    Synthesis
    CrystalSystem
    NA
    ChemistryClassification
    Organic
    Nature
    Natural
    Crystallinity
    Non-Crystalline
    ChemistryComments
  • Copal optical properties

    Transparency
    Transparent - Translucent
    Dispersion
    OpticalComments
    RefractiveIndex
    1.54-1.54
    Tolerance:(-0.010)
    Birefringence
    OpticCharacter
    OpticSign
    PolariscopeReaction
    Singly Refractive (SR) With ADR
    Fluorescence
    SWUV: Inert to strong bluish white more than amber
    LWUV: Inert to weak bluish white
    CCFReaction
    Pleochroism
    None
  • Copal characteristic physical properties

    Hardness
    2
    CharacteristicComments
    Streak
    SpecificGravity
    1.1-1.03 Typical:1.06
    Toughness
    Poor
    Inclusions
    Copal might show surface crazing.
    Luster
    Vitreous
    Stability
    Poor
    Fracture
    Conchoidal, Uneven
    Cleavage
    None