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Original Message:   concerning Copal
Copal is tree resin that hasn't yet completely become fossilised- its a traditional ingredient of varnish because its still soluble in spirits such as turpentine. it could be ancient but not nearly as old as Amber itself. however lumps of it are carved into beads - and the main visible difference between the Copal resin and Amber beads in my collection is that the copal ones have a slightly flaky surface- which can be improved with a little oil. when i get home to my main computer i might find an image to show.

the name copal is often mistakenly applied to anything that doesn't pass the other Amber tests, but much of that could also be acrylic, plastic or synthetic resin or various other materials.

i don't think of such items as fakes but rather as "Tributes".

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