The physical properties of Baltic amber

The typical features of baltic amber

Baltic amber can be identified by means of Infrared Spectroscopy (IRS). Its typical features make it possible to distinguish baltic amber from more than one hundred fossil resins currently known in the world.


- Baltic amber contents of 3-8 % of succinic acid. The largest quantities of succinic acid are found in the most weathered external part of amber;

- Baltic amber consists of: carbon (61-81%), oxygen (8.5- 11%), hydrogen (complement to 100%) and sulphur (0.5%);

- Baltic amber's hardness on the Mohs scale is 2.0-2.5. For example: talc- 1, gypsum- 2, calcite- 3, fluorite- 4, apatite- 5, thoclase- 6, quartz- 7, topaz- 8, corundum- 9, diamond- 10;

- Baltic amber density is 0.96- 1.096 g/cm3. White varieties of amber, with their internal structure comparable to solid foam, are lighter than fresh water and so are varieties described as slag;

- Baltic amber melting point is: 287- 380 °C;

- Baltic amber refractive index is: 1.539- 1.542 ;

- Baltic amber's solubility in organic solvents is very poor;

- Baltic amber response to heating and flame is warm, resin scent with a smoking yellow flame;

- Baltic amber in UV light is blue;

- Baltic amber electrifies negatively;

- In Baltic amber, you can find gas and organic matter (fauna and flora).

*Based on: B. Kosmowska- Ceranowicz "Amber in Poland and in the world", Warsaw, 2012