About amber properties
The feature which distinguishes Baltic amber from other fossil resins is a big amount of amber acid in it – 3-8%. What is more, it also contains other resin acids ( up to 20% all together), resinate ( up to 65%) and resin alcohol ( up to 15%). Spectroscopic analysis shows the content: 61-81% carbon, 8,5 – 11% hydrogen, up to 15% oxygen, about 0,5% sulfur. Baltic amber exhibits a heterogonous inner structure, from a totally non-morphemic , through porous (called: stable foam) to a layered structure, or even a crystal one. According to the Mohs scale its hardness fluctuates from 2,0 to 2,5, and density from 0,96 to 1,096 g/cm3. Amber can float on sea salty water. Its scratch is white, the scratch profile is in the shape of a shell or stairs. Baltic amber is poorly dissolved in ethyl alcohol, ether, chloroform, petrol and carbon disulfide. It is an excellent insulator, rubbed it acquires the negative static. Heated up to 170-200°C it starts to soften, and dissolves in the temperature of 300°C. It burns with a light, extremely smoky flame giving off a specific smell of resin.
Thanks to a big amount of amber acid, Baltic amber has an influence on the human body and the stone increases its immunity and improves the energy balance of the body. Although the properties were researched and described in contemporary times, they had already been known in antiquity. Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder mentioned amber properties in their works. Afterwards the properties have been researched and described by modern scientists such as Saint Hildegard, Avicenna and Agricola. All of them indicate the undoubted effectiveness of amber in preventing infections, relieving rheumatic and migraine pain, and also its favourable influence on the thyroid gland. Raw natural amber worn directly on the skin has the greatest influence on the body as the biggest amount of amber acid is in the outer weathered layer of the stone. Having been cut, heated and singed in autoclave, or pressed, Baltic amber does not lose its properties, because it still includes a sufficient amount of amber acid. Most mineral resins coming from different parts of the world do not have this ingredient. Apart from well-known amber liqueur, there are a lot of sets of cosmetics for body care and homeopathic remedies which contain amber in their ingredients.