Description

    SUPERB RED AMBER NUGGET
    Miocene
    Chiapas, Mexico

    The name Amber comes from the old Arabic word anbargris, or ambergris, the oily perfumed substance produced in the digestive tract of the sperm whale. The Romans knew it as suceinum, or gum-stone, and by the presence of insects and small recognizable pieces of floral matter trapped within, correctly deduced that it had once had a liquid form. They were right: amber is the fossilized sap of ancient prehistoric trees. As the resin ages, it hardens and loses its volatiles; at this stage it is known as copal, but can still be dissolved in alcohol, acetone or gasoline. Only after about 100,000 years do the molecules begin to polymerize, and true amber is formed. Amber is found in several different locations around the world and in several different colors, the most common and instantly recognizable being a familiar honey-gold. The much rarer colors are the blue Dominican amber or this beautiful red-orange shade. Mexican amber is well-known for its rich colors and clarity and the present specimen is no exception. The interior of this flat ovular nugget is almost entirely clear, enlivened by thumbprint-like dips on the surface and some small areas of very fine crazing. It measures 3⅞ x 3⅜ x 1 inches.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    8th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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