Colors: red and greenish brown
Luster : dull
Hardness: 2 to 2.5
Specific gravity: 1.25 to 1.55
Refractive index: 1.54
Occurrence: nearly world wide
Comments: Fossil resin that often includes insects, etc..
Luster: resinous
Other infomation: Splinters under knife. Melts at 280 c. Burns with resin like fumes. Amber is a fossilized resin from trees that has lost its volatile components after millions of years of burial. One of the first substances used for decoration, it was an object of trade and barter for Baltic peoples. The ancient Greeks saw amber as hardened tears or rays of sunset. It occurs as irregular masses, nodules, or drops that are transparent to translucent and have a yellow color, sometimes tinted red, orange, or brown. It may be clouded by innumerable minuscule air bubbles or contain fossilized insects or plants. Softening occurs at about 150 deg. C. and melting at 250 deg-350 deg C. It was called electrum or elektron by the Greeks, who were aware of its ability to produce a static electrical charge. Of widespread occurrence, amber is particularly abundant along the shores of the Baltic Sea where it is mined extensively from TERTIARY glauconite sands that are from 40 million to 60 million years old. Amber is still popular in jewelry and as a decorative material. Sometimes small pieces are fused by compression to form amberoid, which is distinguishable by parallel flow lines.