Golden Copal Amber 76mm. Fossil Flying Termites Ants Flies etc. Colombia 4337 For Sale
Golden Copal Amber 76mm. Fossil Flying Termites Ants Flies etc. Colombia 4337:
Here is a nice hand-polished specimen of Golden Copal Amber, loaded with fossil insects. From the ancient forests of Colombia.
Inside are a number of large winged termites, ants, beetles, flies, what appears to be a large ant, and other creatures. Quite loaded!
It is easier to see the little insects and bugs with a loupe or magnifier. We suggest 8x power or higher. Also, please read our policies and procedures at the end of the description, before you buy.
Please visit our store to see other quality amber specimens.Please note the headline refers to this as Copal Amber. Copal is chemically identical to amber (both are dried tree sap), but is of a more recent origin. Colombia had a piece of copal that was carbon dated to 200 years old, far too recent to be amber.
However, the person who I have known for 20 years, who personally gets these from Colombia, has made very valid points to me, that just because one piece of copal was recent, in no way does that mean that all the forests in Colombia, which all incidentally produce sap, are also only 200 years old as well. That would be like finding an 1875 silver dollar in Texas and concluding that all silver dollars in the US must be dated 1875. It is ridiculous to assume that Colombia, a large nation of 440,800 square miles, has no ancient forest remnants, and that all its forests started within the last 200 years.
Below are some writings, including part of an article in Smithsonian Magazine, stating that a number of the forests and fossils in Colombia date back to the Paleocene (58 million years ago). Those trees had sap as well, so any bug caught in them, and discovered today, would certainly be inside ancient amber. My friend who actually gets these specimens has pointed out the close proximity of where he gets his amber, and the ancient forests spoken of and written about below.
So, here is the argument for this being amber (of ancient origin). If after reading this, you still believe it is copal, then please consider purchasing it, with its beauty and myriad of insects and bugs and plant material in it, as copal.Remember, sheer numbers of websites taking a position on amber or any other subject, means nothing. Whole websites, correct or in error, can be copied in seconds. Just because there are hundreds of sites that say the earth is flat, doesn't make it flat.
You have to use your brain now more than ever before.
Today it is a common practice for some people to drop a modern bug (butterflies, dragonflies, and spiders are among the favorites, I have even seen whole lizards) in some plastic resin, process it, and wrongly call it fossil amber. Then they try to sell plastic fakes as fossil amber for cheap.
This specimen was actually found, as-is, in Colombia in amber-rich areas south of the Cerrejon Coal Mines.
Some people have been trained to call all amber from Colombia “Copal”. They say that since Colombia has no ancient forests, there cannot be amber, since amber is old and copal is young. Some competitors continue to say so, which would be a smart business move, as these specimens from Colombia are among the most loaded with insect life. Certainly there is also Copal in Colombia.
I apologize for the length of the writing, but we believe it is important to at least present the evidence, which we find very interesting. Please read all of it if you can. If then you are not comfortable buying the item, then please, do NOT buy it.
I own some copal (young amber) that is gorgeous and is a GREAT addition to my personal collection.
THE CASE FOR AMBER:
There is NO way to carbon-date amber that is millions of years old. With a half-life of only 5,730 years, carbon dating becomes fairly useless for things older than about 50 thousand years. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not correct. Rather, scientists look to the surroundings, where the amber (or copal) was found, for clues and evidence of age. If the amber is found near ancient forests remains, it also is likely ancient.
This spectacular amber find is from the same general area (Cerrejon) as many other fossils, ranging from 58 million years to over 200 million years.That contradicts those who say Colombia has no ancient fossils or ancient forests.
Thousands of plant and leaf and animal fossils are being found near Cerrejon in the coal beds, just north of the amber finds. This is from a unique rainforest that existed 58 million years ago. Several articles have described this ancient rainforest, including the Smithsonian Magazine, April 2012, "How Titanoboa, the 40-foot long Snake, Was Found."
The article describes this ancient Colombian rainforest as follows, "Cerrejón also happens to be one of the world’s richest, most important fossil deposits, providing scientists with a unique snapshot of the geological moment when the dinosaurs had just disappeared (65 million years ago) and a new environment was emerging. “Cerrejón is the best, and probably the only, window on a complete ancient tropical ecosystem anywhere in the world...The plants, the animals, everything. We have it all, and you can’t find it anywhere else in the tropics.”
The trees in Cerrejon were massive; clearly the termites, ants, and flies were out in force. Some amber deposits are massive. This was possibly the only time frame that trees here were large enough to produce such large deposits. This was dated 58 million years ago (Paleocene).
Another article confirming the ancient aspect of Colombian life is from the May 17, 2012 issue of NC State News, of North Carolina State University. The headline is "Ancient Giant Turtle Fossil Revealed", written by Tracey Peake. The article begins:
"Picture a turtle the size of a Smart car, with a shell large enough to double as a kiddie pool. Paleontologists from North Carolina State University have found just such a specimen – the fossilized remains of a 60-million-year-old South American giant that lived in what is now Colombia.
The turtle in question isCarbonemys cofrinii, which means “coal turtle,” and is part of a group of side-necked turtles known as pelomedusoides. The fossil was namedCarbonemysbecause it was discovered in 2005 in a coal mine that was part of northern Colombia’s Cerrejon formation." (near where this amber was found).
Also near where this amber is found, near Villa de Leyva, are fossils dating mostly to about 130 million years. Other areas also have trilobites close by, dating 250+ million years ago.
In short, this Colombian amber is surrounded by ancient fossils. Would not, then, this dried tree sap with entombed insects inside, which was found in the same general region, also be old? This leaves us with the strong possibility that the amber is also ancient material.
These were actually found, as-is, in Colombia in amber-rich areas south of the ancient Cerrejon Coal Mines.
TESTS FOR TRUE AMBER
The world has amber, copal, and of course, fakes (usually plastic). Amber has been around by far the longest, undergoing fossilization for many millions of years. Copal is far more short-lived than amber, ranging from a few hundred years to a couple million. Also, Colombia is the source of some copal as well. And, as mentioned, there is also the fast-buck-artist who drops a black widow spider or other bug in some plastic or resin, lets it harden and sells it as amber. One needs to be careful when purchasing.
There are a number of tests to identify real amber.
1. Salt Water Test. Take 1 cup of water. Stir in 7 teaspoons of table salt, dissolve. Real amber will easily float to the top, the others almost always will sink.
2. Touch Test. Amber never feels very cold at room temperature. Plastic resins will feel colder to the touch.
3. UV Test. Take a long-wave ultraviolet light ("Black light") and shine it on the specimen in a black room. Fakes will not glow. Most amber will glow a pale glow or in spots. Reddish amber will not glow, the red due to iron in the amber.
4. The Rub Test. Wrap your specimen in a cloth and rub it for about 60 seconds. Then hold the piece by a hair strand or tiny pieces of paper or dust. Amber, having electrostatic properties, will cause the hair, etc., to be slightly attracted to it, if it was rubbed properly and hard enough. Conversely, Copal will not attract the hair. Also, Copal will start to feel sticky after being rubbed hard, unlike Amber, which will not.
5. Hot Needle Test. This may leave a small mark. What I did to test for this Colombian amber was to use a piece that had fewer insects in it. Heat a needle until it glows red, then immediately push it into the specimen. If it is Copal, it will enter more easily, and a fairly fresh smell, like pine, will be detected. If it is plastic, it will smell like plastic. Amber will emit a sooty or pungent smell, and give off a touch of sooty dark fumes.
NOTE: This specimen passes all the above tests. If it were fake or Copal, it would have failed every single one of the tests.
There is one "test" that has been inserted into many modern lists: that is the Acetone "Test". This amber will NOT pass this "test". That is because the "acetone test" is really a test for treated amber. This amber has not been treated or heated or irradiated to make it harder. This amber is organically polished using an organic, non-chemical technique that took months to perfect, to achieve the high gloss finish. Most other amber has been treated to withstand acetone. All untreated amber will be affected by acetone and other solvents.
Why was this amber not heated to harden it? Because of the size of the many insects and bugs in the amber, which are each loaded with methane. Extreme heat can make the methane ignite and destroy the insect, and even the amber itself. Most other amber does not contain such an array of large bugs. If you see an "amber" with a big insect inside, heat it and you will likely smell plastic.
In sum, this beautiful specimen passes the 5 tests. If it were copal or plastic, it wouldn't even pass ONE test. Older lists of tests did not mention acetone. Now that so many amber pieces are treated, acetone is being added to many (but not all) lists.
Personally, I believe the vast majority of people who call this copal (or amber) are honest and trying to be accurate. I believe the problem lies primarily in the internet itself, where every side of any issue can easily be found, and it becomes very hard sometimes to tell truth from error. I know I am doing my best to be honest, and I always acknowledge I could be wrong. If someone insists on calling this Copal in spite of the evidence offered here, then that is their privilege.
Here are some quotes from another site, from a scientist who is more expert in the field than I am.Dr. Robert E. Woodruff, Emeritus Taxonomist, Florida State Collection of Arthropods, who has collected and studied fossil resin and insects in fossil resin throughout his career, has several thoughts to share on the copal versus amber controversy:
The following was taken from the site Fossil Museum at FOSSILMUSEUM.NET An excellent source of information.
Amber versus Copal – Obfuscation, not Science
"A few more words about the distinction between amber and copal, both slang terms without scientific basis, is warranted. We absolutely disdain scientific prostitution, and are therefore compelled to expose it. Fairly widespread on the Internet and in several popular and otherwise wonderful "amber" books are statements that there is no amber from Colombia, and that Colombian amber is "young" copal, because it has not yet undergone some mythical transformation that is never described... such obfuscation is perhaps to be expected from commercial interests, but is shameful when individual scientific credentials are used as justification. Any polymer chemist studying fossil resin chemistry would quickly discern that the essential constituents and chemical binding characteristics are demonstrably the same in all fossil resin, regardless of locality, and regardless of age, once the material has hardened - there is no important scientific distinction to be made.
Several of these sources offer as “fact” a small sample from one locality in Colombia carbon dated at a couple hundred years old. They then make the banal extrapolation that the small sample's age can be extrapolated to all fossil resin in what is a huge country where trees have been producing resin for as long as anywhere else."
(Note: this would be like finding some 200-year-old tree resin in the United States, and then assuming all fossil forests and tree resins in the U.S. cannot be more than 200 years old. Some forest fossils in the U.S. are millions of years old. As we have already read above, some Colombian forests have been shown to be millions of years old).
"Besides the idiocy of presuming all fossil resin is the same age as the one sample, they neglect to point out that the evolutionary adaptation of resin production has not been eradicated from plant genomes. That is, plants continue to make resin, and thus the only plausible assumption is that fossil resin exists in a continuum of ages to present in all places where it is found, unless the botanical source has disappeared. It is unfortunate that a few gemologists and others not trained in science continue to promulgate scientific poppycock."
"Those who draw distinction between fossil resin, amber and copal are either exhibiting scientific ignorance, and engaging in deliberate obfuscation for financial gain.
Internet sources of information about fossil resin are virtually useless, and are essentially replicating and cross-linking nonsense masquerading as science. One of the most conspicuous examples is the assertion that copal will dissolve in acetone but amber will not. Any chemistry student by their junior year should be able to refute this, or they should not graduate. In reality, fossil resin is a substrate to most solvents. Solubility may, in fact, vary depending on the chemical constituency of different fossil resins, but any statement that solubility determines authenticity is putting the cart before the horse."
Dr. Robert E. Woodruff continues:
"The amber versus copal distinction is lost on many geologists and paleontologists that are aware that scientific data is unavailable to determine the age of fossil resins...
...There are those (including several scientists) that insist that the word amber must be reserved for certain age resins. With such a continuous resin production, and no clear dating, it could all be called amber. It is a semantic argument, & those who sell Baltic, Dominican, & Mexican "amber" do not want to use the term for any that might be more recent. Obviously a commercial bias is present. They prefer to use the term "copal"...
To call the Colombian material anything other than amber is a misnomer! Logically, we should just call everything "resin", with qualifying adjectives of origin or geological formation. I doubt that this would be acceptable to most "amber" dealers!"- Dr. Robert E. Woodruff
SUMMARY CONCLUSION AMBER OR COPAL: There is no direct method of amber dating (over 50 thousand years), but rather the age must be inferred by its surroundings. Recent scientific discoveries have shown that this specimen comes from a part of Colombia surrounded by Mesozoic and Paleocene fossils, so it is reasonable to assume this resin is also old.
This specimen was made in nature, not a man-made concoction, such as when a spider is thrown in plastic and sold for $20. Colombian "tree resin" ranks right up with the best ambers/copals anywhere, in terms of its fossiliferous qualities.
So, if you must, in spite of this evidence, call this copal, also please appreciate the gorgeous inclusions in these extraordinary Colombian beauties. With only a few specimens, you can get fascinating entombment of multiple termites, spiders, mosquitoes, beetles, crickets, aphids, gnats, ants, ticks, bugs, flies, plants, and many other wonderful ancient animals.
CAUTION: Amber should be handled carefully. When polished, it can be quite smooth and easy to drop. When dropped on a hard surface at just the right stress point, it can break. If that happens, carefully use Super Glue (follow label directions) to glue it together. Or if both halves look pretty cool on their own, you can gently sand the sharp edges and smooth them down.
CAUTION: Many people want to make jewelry using pieces like this one, such as drilling a hole in one end. Amber pendants are very popular. However, if you alter the item with a drill hole, glue, printing or artwork, etc., it can no longer be returned.
COMBINED SHIPPING: We will do our best to combine purchases to save shipping costs. In some cases, that is easy, in some cases not so much. If you buy multiple pieces, and pay for them, we will combine if we can, and refund the shipping difference into your Pay pal account.
We will ship this only to the United States. We are not responsible if the buyer reships it somewhere else, after receiving it from us. Our responsibility ends at the destination we ship it to.
Return Policy: If you are notsatisfied with youritem, please contact us within 72 hours of receiving the item. We'll refund your purchase price, minus shipping charges,upon safe return of theitem in original condition within 30 days of buyer’s receipt of item. Failure to contact us within 72 hours of receipt of item, voids this offer.Buyer is responsible for all return shipping charges. Item must arrive to us in same condition as buyer received it (check photos in original description), or a restocking fee may be charged.
Damage: If your item arrives damaged, please contact us within 24 hours of receiving as we will be happy to resolveany issue. Buyer must contact us within 24 hours of receipt of item to claim damaged in shipping.