2.01" Polished Colombian Copal (5.1 g) - Contains Flies & Beetles!

This is a polished piece of copal from Colombia. It contains three fossil beetles (order Coleoptera), three flies (order Diptera), and what appears to be a tiny mite (subclass Acari). The copal bears gorgeous golden honey coloration, measures 2.01" wide, and weighs 5.1 grams. The entire specimen has been polished to a glossy-finish.

Under shortwave and longwave ultraviolet light this material exhibits strong fluorescent properties.

Is It Amber Or Copal?

Amber is fossilized tree resin that frequently contains inclusions such as plant matter, fungi, and insects. Copal is a younger resin that has not fully fossilized, but may still be tens of thousands to several million years old. This copal is often marketed as "young amber", which many consider a misnomer, but the exact line between copal and amber is a little bit blurry. This is especially true with modern treatment techniques that can artificially age copal into amber.

All of the material from Colombia is considered copal and as far as we know there are no true amber deposits producing any quantity of material in the country. Colombian copal's age ranges anywhere from tens of thousands to up to five million years old. The age probably varies significantly based on exactly where it is collected. It tends to be harder than copal from other locations, which has led people to believe much of is from the older part of that age range. Colombian copal has exceptional clarity and often is full of very detailed insect and plant inclusions.

Recently, much of this copal has been treated in an autoclave, which makes it harder and easier to polish. This treated copal is indistinguishable from amber except via advanced spectrography techniques. It passes all the copal-vs-amber tests, including UV reactivity under shortwave UV (strongly fluoresces blue), a static test (held static electricity), a burn/melting test (no melting or burning), a saltwater float test (floated), and an acetone test on a polished surface (no sticky residue, acetone dissolves copal). So, while it is not technically considered amber, it gives you a chance to own a big impressive piece full of insects at a fraction of the cost of amber from other deposits.
FOR SALE
$35
DETAILS
SPECIES
Order Coleoptera, Order Diptera & Subclass Acari?
LOCATION
Colombia
SIZE
Dimensions: 2.01 x .82 x .32", Weight: 5.1 grams
CATEGORY
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#293497
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