We know the honey like Baltic amber also as succinite. The coniferous tree Pinus succinifera produced this type of amber. Other conifers also produced amber, but often in a much smaller quantity. Every type produced its own resin and therefore also different types of amber. The best-known examples are:
- The pale yellow and translucent sort we call genadite
- The dull black and opaque sort we call stantanite
- The brown coloured pieces we call beckerite
The main difference with succinite is that these species contain fewer succinic acids. Therefore these types are a little softer. These different types are often with succinite used for Amber baby teeting necklaces.
Organic semi-precious stone
Amber is fossilized resin and therefore together with pearls and blood coral, one of the few organic semi-precious stones. It is still not clear if amber is a mineral without a crystal structure or a fossil. Amber consists of organic compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. It is therefore that name amber is derived from the German word Bernstein, which is derived from the Lower Saxony word ‘Börnen’, which means ‘fires’. So this means that amber is flammable. That is why we do not recommend to hold your amber to close to a flame or to much heat, because this can realy damage the stone.
Digits and numbers of Baltic amber
- Chemical formula is: C10H16O
- Most common colours are: honey-yellow, orange, yellowish-white, hyacinth-red, rarely blue, greenish and black.
- The hardness is: 2 – 2.5 on the Mosh scale
- The gloss is: glossy to matt
- The fracture is: shell-shaped
- The transparency is: Transparent to opaque
- The density is: 1,05 – 1,09
- The crystallisationis : Amorphous
- Under UV the fluorescence is: blue/green/yellow-green and white
Looking for more facts? have a look at our Amber trivia page.