Home

Aztec Copal Burner
Aztec Copal Burner

The Aztec word “copal” (Nahuatl: copalli) refers to all tree resins -of any age- that have been employed as amber incense over the centuries. Consequently, from this etymological point of view, it turns most ambers, also the ‘famous’ Baltic or the almost equal old Dominican amber, into Copal, because they are used for incense even today.  

But for lack of a better word, in modern times “Copal” is used to refer to semi-fossilized amber resins or sub-fossil amber. Basically, “copal” is “young amber” and “amber” is “old copal”.  If you think this is interesting, read more here.

Anyhow, we always have available raw copal or rough copal (or raw amber or rough amber). We offer quite a few large specimens, a lot of medium size chunks and tons of smaller pieces. Therefore, besides specific specimens as single items, basically, we mainly wholesale. 

There are many uses for type of Colombian Copal i.e. jewelry and industrial uses and all kinds of purposes. We offer wholesale quantities of clean and of crystallized, of fossiliferous and of polished Colombian copal. Our Colombian warehouse has large inventories for immediate orders.

Through our reliable contacts to the mines, we provide constant supply and high quality and ship directly from our suppliers in Colombia. This way we can save you money and help you maximize profit. We know country and people, we speak their and your language, we know your needs and the market. We are your contact for best quality Colombian copal.

What is copal?

To say copal is “amber imitation” is pure nonsense, as it is just tree resin of younger age, which has not yet undergone some mythical transformation that is never described. Amber is only a bit harder due to age, but it is also being treated for additional effects.

Where is the age limit? There is much theory and commercial interest. Some set the limit at 20 million years, others earlier. But, regardless of age, once the material has hardened –  according to many scientists, there is no important scientific distinction to be made.

Fact is, we have no dates or specific geological information on Colombian copal or Colombian amber. Because of it’s color and hardness, some scientists believe it may be Pliocene or Pleistocene, probably about 2 to 3 million years old, in some regions even up to 16 million years old, but in others much, much younger (Santander) and may only count with some thousands, or some hundreds of years.

But opinions, theories and scientific researches and their methods vary. For example, Terrance M. Allen (Entomologist, Paleontologist) writes: “I believe, based on the fact that stellate oak (floral) hair (Family: Faqaceae, Genua: Quercus sp.) was discovered in Colombian copal/amber by this author (T.M. Allen, April 2010), and that stellate oak hair is used as an indicator fossil species found in Dominican Amber, Chiapas (Mexico) Amber, and Baltic Amber scientifically aged to be 20 million, 25 million, and 40 million years old respectively, that some Colombian copal / amber can be dated to be approximately 20 million years of age and can be termed to be true fossilized “Colombian Amber”.

Interesting? Want to read more? 

All debates aside, about whether “fossilized” tree or plant resins from different or designated localities around the world should be termed “amber” or “copal”, as long as it is qualified and recorded as to where the samples of prehistoric resins originate, the arthropod (and other faunal) and plant inclusions are all valuable scientific specimens. Even if we assume that Colombian Copal is only 2 to 3 million years old or younger, it still is extremely important to study biodiversity, biogeography, ecology and other related subjects based on its inclusions.

Others are aware of its use for jewelry or industrial purposes.

About

There are many uses for type of Colombian Copal i.e. jewelry and industrial uses and all kinds of purposes. We offer wholesale quantities of clean and of crystallized, of fossiliferous and of polished Colombian copal. Our Colombian warehouse has large inventories for immediate orders.

We always have available raw copal or rough copal (or raw amber or rough amber) with or without inclusions. We offer quite a few large specimens, a lot of medium size chunks and tons of smaller pieces. Therefore, besides specific specimens as single items, basically, we mainly wholesale. 

Green Caribbean Amber
Green Caribbean Amber

We also offer what is called on the market ” Caribbean Amber ”  and ” Green Caribbean Amber “, even ” green amber “. Fact is, it is aged Colombian copal. But aged copal is also produced in other colors, like cream, white, brown and read.  We supply raw and beads of various forms and sizes for different purposes.

 

 

Through our reliable contacts to the mines, producers we provide constant supply and high quality and ship directly from Colombia. As a direct supplier we can save you money and help you maximize profit. We know country and people, we speak their and your language, we know your needs and the market. We are your contact for best quality Colombian copal. As we work with the direct source, we can deliver almost any commercial quantity upon request. With direct access to the factory, we also can offer tumbled, heat and autoclave enhanced Colombian copal. The factory is fully equipped with all necessary infrastructure and highly skilled professionals. Therefore, we ensure the highest quality, reliable price and quick delivery anywhere in the world.

Inclusions in copal

Colombian amber was NOT the inspiration for the Hollywood movie “Jurassic Park”. The amber used was Dominican Amber.

But, it is a fact that the most fossiliferous amber originates in Colombia, albeit it has become fairly widespread that all fossil resin from Colombia is called copal.

The amber versus copal distinction is lost on many geologists and paleontologists that are aware that scientific data is unavailable to determine the age of fossil resins from this region. The consensus age estimate seems to be Pleistocene (up to 2 million years old), but estimates range to the Lower Miocene (about 20 million years old).  

Dr. Robert E. WoodruffEmeritus Taxonomist, Florida State Collection of Arthropods writes: “Mankind (depending on the anthropologist’s definition thereof) has been on earth only 3-5 million years. Certainly the Olduvai specimens are fossils (both men & animals) and extremely valuable for study of human evolution. If we assume the Colombian amber is this recent, it still has extremely important value for those studying the fossils. Studies of biodiversity, biogeography, ecology, and evolution, all benefit from the scientific description of these amber fossils. 

Age is relative, the old man said, but old is not necessarily better. To call the Colombian material anything other than amber is a misnomer! Logically, we should just call everything “resin”, with qualifying adjectives of origin or geological formation. I doubt that this would be acceptable to most “amber” dealers!”

 Therefore, you might find spectacular types and concentrations of inclusions in copal for less money and we can offer you copal that is loaded with fascinating inclusions for only a fraction of what you would pay for equal specimen in “old” amber.

What kinds of inclusions can be found?

Of course, the most common inclusions are termites, sometimes swarms of them.

  

But you might also discover plant inclusions, like roots and bark and other kinds of insects, like:

  • Beetles
  • Bees
  • Mosquitoes
  • Grasshoppers
  • Planthoppers
  • Leafhoppers
  • Cicadas
  • Aphids
  • Ants
  • Flees
  • Fireflies
  • Ticks
  • Butterflies, Moths
  • Crickets
  • Cockroaches
  • Centipedes
  • Millipedes
  • Barklice
  • Thrips
  • True Bugs
  • Lacewings
  • Dusty-wings
  • Beetles
  • Scorpions / pseudo-scorpions
  • Spiders
  • Webspinners
  • Mantises
  • Flies
  • Fireflies
  • Wasps

 

 

Caribbean Amber

When you read that the so-called “Caribbean amber” was “recently found on an unknown small Caribbean Island” you should give it as much factual credibility as the novel “Treasure Island” or the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”.  

But the facts are different. This “Caribbean Amber” is really enhanced Colombian copal. Copal is young amber and Amber is young copal. And Colombia has a Caribbean coast, so it really is Caribbean.

Due to it’s age, Colombian copal still has a lot of moisture and is too soft for direct production. Therefore, some companies have developed technologies of how to harden amber without the use of chemicals but just by placing them into an autoclave at a special period of time. After receiving this treatment, the Colombian copal is commercially called ‘Caribbean Amber’.

And here is the surprise: Most Baltic amber is also hardened in autoclaves and processed alike by using the same equipment and machinery just with a different timing,  So Caribbean amber and Baltic amber are identical from a jewelry processing point of view. Therefore, none of them can be considered fake, and these treatments are accepted in jewelry industry although the amber is not in it’s natural stage anymore. Its like tempering iron to produce steel.

The only amber that is not treated in any way is the amber from the Dominican Republic, where these sophisticated technics have not been introduced (yet).

Depending on the time and schedule Colombian copal is placed in the autoclave, the colors produced vary and therefore it is possible to produce golden, brown, green, red and even blue Caribbean amber. This amber is not sticky or too soft to be used en behaves like Baltic or Dominican amber.

We can offer you Caribbean amber in all its versions.

Green Caribbean Amber

In the copal hardening process, it is being “aged” in the autoclave for several hours. See: Wikipedia: Caribbean Amber. But this method is not strange at all, considering all the weird technics that are used to enhance, clarify and modify the famous Baltic amber which is sold to the gullible public as “natural” and “genuine”. 

“Caribbean Amber” is very useful for all kinds of applications and a great material for jewelry. And we can supply it. Of course, you as customer should be informed of what you are buying instead of getting all kinds of Caribbean pirate stories. Right?