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Amber and copal amber

Joined
Mar 18, 1999
Messages
2,112
I have used amber before but have a piece of copal amber. So what's the big difference?

Craig
 
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.
Stacy
 
Thanks guys.

I think that I may play with it but probably won't use the copal amber on a "real" knife since it's not "real" amber. I'm just funny like that...

Craig
 
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

Here's a link that explains the differences pretty well....
http://www.gplatt.demon.co.uk/typesof.htm

Here's a link that gives some info and suggestions on how to tell or test for Fake Amber
http://www.ambericawest.com/fake_amber.html

Here's a link that talks about working Amber....
http://www.knivesby.com/amber.html

I've used the plain old Crest toothpaste to polish some of the rough amber I've polished.... works great and smells good too..... get the white one without all the added stuff not the gel.....

Hope this helps....:thumbup:
 
Copal will get "sticky" out in the hot Texas sun. I think you'll find that annoying to say the least. Most excellent answers guys, nothing left to add.
Nice links Kalimalena.
I like for the bugs too.
 
Copal will get "sticky" out in the hot Texas sun. I think you'll find that annoying to say the least. Most excellent answers guys, nothing left to add.
Nice links Kalimalena.
I like for the bugs too.

I think I'll just throw the piece I have away in the trash can.

Craig
 
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