To become Amber, the fossil resins had to undergo a second hardening period of polymerization, where the molecules linked with each other to form larger molecules, a process which took from several tens of thousands of years to millions of years, before becoming insoluble. Most Amber is 30 to 90 million years old, though some are slightly less than a million, and the oldest Amber found to date is 320 million years old. Copal is a name given to tree resin from the Protium copal tree prominent in the Mesoamerican region, and generally too young tree resins, several hundred to several thousand years old, in an intermediate stage of polymerization and hardening. It has been used for centuries in incense, fine varnishes, and for ceremonial purposes, but is at times misleadingly marketed as “amber” or “young amber.” Resins from Columbia and Madagascar are too young to be considered authentic Amber. Copal can often be identified if it becomes sticky when a drop of organic solvents, such as alcohol or acetone, is applied, or if it shows very little color change under a short-wave UV light. Over 1000 extinct animal species and various types of plant matter have been identified in Amber, but whole specimens are extraordinarily unique, usually in museums and are quite expensive.
Amber is one of the world’s oldest and most coveted treasures, a “Gold of the Sea” intrinsically formed by light and life, preserved by time and washed up on the shores for humanity, a talisman of beauty, protection, and renewal. It has been portrayed as drops of the sun, tears of the gods, hardened honey, and sunlight solidified, and is as desired today as it was in the most ancient cultures, utilized as far back as the Stone Age for its pleasing warmth of color, value in adornment, and its magical and medicinal properties.
silver, amber, € 263,00
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