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Amber (oxygenated hydrocarbon)
Color: Yellow, red, orange and brown.
Moh’s hardness: 2-2˝
Refractive index: 1.54
Critical angle: 40.5°
Specific gravity: 1.05-1.096
Heat sensitivity: Extremely high. See comments below.
Birefringence (double refraction): None
Crystal structure: Amorphous
Treatments: Reconstituted amber is made from ground up amber and small pieces that are "reconstituted" into larger pieces with pressure.
Cutting: Cut with a fine lap. Amber clogs cutting laps.
Polishing: Wax lap with alumina or tin oxide or tin oxide Ultralap at normal speed. Amber can pick up a static electricity charge during polishing. Once the stone is polished, be careful not to set it near any possible contaminants. If the electric charge attracts contaminants to your stone, a simple wiping with a clean cloth could seriously scratch the finished stone.
Comments: Amber will melt at slightly higher temperature than dop wax. Heat may also make amber more brittle. Solvents will dissolve amber. Therefore, dop with white glue.