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Fossil Amber and Copal: Worldwide Localities

Fossil Amber and Copal: Worldwide Localities
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Mostly macro photographs taken with the use of a simple Samsung WB35F.


The rarest of my currently-depicted specimens, is that of a 4.3g piece of blue Sumatra amber; it contains 2 Pseuomyrmex sp. ants, as well as two smaller, unidentified winged individuals.

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On 2/24/2022 at 1:05 AM, Coco said:



What makes amber blue ?



Thank you for your question, Coco:)


In short, it is caused by the fluorescence of hydrocarbons.


In nearly all instances, "blue amber" refers to a fluorescent response of amber to LED light; the blue coloration (fluorescence) is the reaction of different hydrocarbons contained within the amber, to various UV wavelengths found in LED light. This blue variety of amber is very uncommon, and commercial quantities come from the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and Chiapas (Mexico); in rare instances, it can be found in small quantities in other locations (Myanmar, British Columbia [Canada], Washington State [USA], etc.).


When ancient tree resin was produced, its exposure to various condition(s) made it possible for large amounts of these hydrocarbons to be formed: heat (fire, volcanic activity), submergence in a marine environment, and other conditions are thought to have accelerated the formation of/provided many different hydrocarbons; it's also believed these conditions aided in the new resin's maturation toward amber. Specifically, in Dominican blue amber, the hydrocarbon perylene is believed to be responsible for its fluorescence.


Actually, there are some other types of "blue amber", but their color is not due to fluorescence; it is in fact a natural body color; most of this amber can be found in deposits near Catania, and along the nearby shores of Sicily, Italy, and is commonly known as Simetite; only some Simetite has this blue coloration, and was caused by volcanic heat (Mt. Etna) altering the resin/amber itself. Some Ethiopian amber also has a naturally-green base color, due to geothermal heat (volcanism).


Amber truly is an amazing substance!:dinothumb:

Edited by Barrelcactusaddict
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