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Amber is not petrified. It is a polymerized and hardened resin,often confusingly referred to as "Fossil Resin".Amber ranges from very brittle to moderately tough,but all amber is very soft.Copal is the old name for "uncured" amber,or new amber which is still gummy and not polymerized. The round beads being sold as "copal amber" by the knife and hobby suppliers is a product of unsure makeup. It is a processed product made by pulverizing amber(?) and other things ,heating,and compressing it in a tube. It is usually a bit harder than real amber and turns/carves a bit better. It is ,however, not really amber.I have spoken to several suppliers of this product and none seem to know exactly what it is or how it is made.
I collect rough/raw amber and love it more for looking for the little bugs and critters you can find in the good raw pieces available every once in a while... although over the years the price of good raw amber has gone up considerably like everything else.... its pretty soft and brittle stuff... my favorite is Burmite