Copal is a fossilized organic resin. This amorphous yellow to brownish material is often confused with amber, but amber is much older than copal. A test using acetone can separate amber and copal - copal will react immediately while amber will take longer to be affected.

Copal with insects.jpg

Copal with Few Termites.

Gemological Information for Copal

Color: The color of copal varies from pale yellow to orange to a de
Crystal Structure Amorphous
Refractive Index: ca. 1.54 (-.010)
Durability: Can be melted by a hot torch
Hardness: 2
Similar Stones: Reconstructed amber
Treatments: Oiling, heat treatments, reconstruction (same as amber)
Country of Origin: Africa, New Zealand & South America

Copal Care

Ultrasonic Cleaning: Not safe
Steam Cleaning: Not safe
Warm Soapy Water: Not safe - cool water only - no brushes
Chemical Attack: Keep away from chemicals
Light Sensitivity: Will darken as it ages
Heat Sensitivity: Burns readily