Amber Characteristics


The Baltic Amber (succinite) is a fossil that dates back to the period 40 million years ago. It contains 3 to 8 % of amber acid. Other fossilized resins (e.g. retinite) contain much less or no amber acid. The most common fossil is retinite.

The natural color of amber is light yellow or honey-tinted. It was probably the color of the resin of the prehistoric Pinus succinifera. The darker colors of other types of amber are a result of oxidation. The external layer is often rough and cracked, and is called cortex.

White and opaque kinds of amber have a structure of foam. The color and degree of transparency depend on the number and size of air-holes. The most foamy ones have almost one million air-holes per square millimeter (1 sq. line = 4,4 sq. mm).


Carbon: 61-81 %
Hydrogen: 8,5-11 %

Hardness: 2,0-2,5 in Mohs’s Scale (slightly harder than gypsum)

Density: 0,96-1,096 g/cm3 (Amber floats in salty water)

Melting point: 548.6-572 oF