amber (fossil resin)

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Scope note
A yellowish, hard, glassy, translucent fossil tree resin found in largest deposits on the Baltic coast and dating 40-60 million years old. Types of amber are classified by location. Amber is composed of complex mixtures of oxidized and polymerized resin acids and resin alcohols. It has been gathered or mined since Paleolithic times. It is easy to carve and was often used in its natural state for jewelry, beads, amulets, and small vessels. It was also used as an ingredient in paint; dark color oil and amber varnishes are made by dissolving melted amber in amber oil, turpentine oil, or a drying oil. It develops an electrical charge when rubbed with a cloth. It is also valued because very ancient insects and plants may be preserved in the amber.
amber
Accepted term: 10-Jun-2024