Amber - Mineral and Healing Properties

Chemistry: C12H20O

Class: Labdatriene carboxylic acid

Uses: Gemstone; Ornamental stone; Incense

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  • Copal Amber
  • Baltic Amber
  • Blue Amber


Copal Amber is a name given to tree resin from the copal tree Protium copal (Burseraceae) that is particularly identified with the aromatic resins used by the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica as ceremonially burned incense and other purposes.

Copal is not the fossilized, hardened tree resin that is known as Baltic Amber. Baltic amber is fossilized copal, which is found one or two meters below living copal trees from roots of trees that may have lived thousands of years earlier.

Origin Of The Name

The word Amber comes from the English word amber that denotes either the gemstone, which is formed from fossil resin, or the orange-yellow colour. The word ultimately derives from Arabic ('anbar). It began to be used as a given name in the late 19th century, but it only became popular after the release of Kathleen Winsor's novel 'Forever Amber' (1944).

Interesting Facts

Copal Amber if it contains inclusions of insects they are modern insects whereas true fossil Baltic amber contains inclusions mostly of extinct prehistoric life. Since ancient times, Copal has been considered sacred to the people of Mexico, as well as South and Central America. It goes as far back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures. Mass amounts of copal resin were burned atop the Aztec and Mayan pyramids as offerings to the gods and deities. In the Mayan ruins, copal was discovered in the burial grounds, proving its spiritual significance.

Where Is It Found

Copal Amber is found in East Africa. By the 18th century, Europeans found it to be a valuable ingredient in making a good wood varnish. Baltic Amber comes from the Baltic region is home to the largest known deposit of amberand dates from 44 million years ago. Today, more than 90% of the world's baltic amber comes from Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia. It is a major source of income for the region.

What Do We Do With It

Baltic Amber has been used by man for more than 13,000 years, having been collected and valued since the stone age, long ago. Amber has been used since antiquity in the manufacture of jewelry, amulets and other ornaments, and also in folk medicine.

Amber has long been used in folk medicine for its purported healing properties. Amber and extracts were used from the time of the ancient Greeks for a wide variety of treatments. It was also popular as a medical treatment through the Middle Ages.

Baltic Amber is used chiefly in the manufacture of beads and jewelry. Copal amber has been used since anchient times as an incense that is burned for its aromatic fragrence and in manufacturing as a wood varnish.

Metaphysical Uses

Copal unites the energizing force of the sun with the grounding, transmutive properties of earth. A powerful yet gentle healer and cleanser, Copal draws out and transmutes negative energy of all kinds on all levels. Copal aids in physical self-healing, emotional healing of depression, and environmental clearing. Copal opens and cleanses all of the chakras.

Highly protective, Copal also aids in the manifestation of ideas to reality. The life force trapped within Copal promotes fertility, and its protective and environmental clearing properties make it a good stone to use to prepare a healing or birthing room.

Use Copal with the Solar Plexus Chakra to increase confidence, mental clarity, and creative self expression. Copal is perfect for your pocket or for selected energy work.

Physical Characteristics

Color: Yellow, brown, colorless, blue.

Luster: Resinous.

Transparency: Transparent.

Crystal System: Nodular

Crystal Habits: Pulverulent - Forms a loose, poorly-coherent powdery mass.

Cleavage: None.

Fracture: Conchoidal.

Hardness: 2.0 - 2.5

Streak: White.

Educational Videos

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Cutting and Polishing Amber Beads

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