Amber
Title: Amber
CAS Registry Number: 9000-02-6
Additional Names: Baltic amber; bernstein; succinite
Literature References: A fossil resin from the extinct pine tree Pinites succinifera (Goepp.) Conway, Pinaceae. Found along the Baltic coast, also mined in Samland (East Prussia). Baltic amber contains: C 79%, H 10.5%, O 10.5%; succinic acid 3-8%; a-amyrin 20-30%. Refs: Plonait, Angew. Chem. 48, 184 (1935); Schmid and co-workers: Ann. 503, 269 (1933); Monatsh. Chem. 63, 210 (1933); 65, 348 (1935); 72, 290, 311 (1939). Review: Berthelot, Chim. Ind. (Paris) 50, 78-9 (1943); Frondel, Econ. Bot. 22, 371 (1968). Infrared spectroscopy of different varieties of powdered amber: C. W. Beck et al., Nature 201, 256 (1964). Chemical constitution: J. B. Lambert, J. S. Frye, Science 217, 55 (1982).
Properties: Pale-yellow to reddish-brown resin. Transparent or cloudy (due to enclosed air bubbles and free succinic acid). Brittle; conchoidal fracture. d 1.05 to 1.10. Harder than most other resins. nD 1.539-1.545. Softens at 150°, mp 350-375° giving off a choking, aromatic odor. When rubbed it is a good generator of static electricity.
Melting point: mp 350-375°
Index of refraction: nD 1.539-1.545
Density: d 1.05 to 1.10
 
Derivative Type: Oil of Amber, Rectified
Literature References: Obtained by the destructive distillation of amber and purified by redistillation. Consists of a mixture of terpenes with resinous, oxygen-containing substances.
Properties: Pale yellow to yellowish-brown, volatile oil; penetrating odor; burning acrid taste. d 0.850-0.920. aD20 +22 to +26°. Insol in water. Sol in about 10 vols alcohol; freely sol in chloroform, ether, carbon disulfide, oils.
Optical Rotation: aD20 +22 to +26°
Density: d 0.850-0.920
 
Use: The best quality is machined into beads and other personal ornaments. For teething strings. Also used for making mouthpieces of tobacco pipes and cigarette holders. Small pieces are pressed into "ambroid" and then used for the same purpose. Impure material goes into the manufacture of "amber" varnishes.

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