Is amber a mineral?


Quick Answer

Amber is not a mineral. Amber is fossilized resin from ancient pine trees. Resin isn't sap but a complex chemical that a plant produces in its epithelial cells. The volatile components of the resin evaporate, but the nonvolatile components can fossilize.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

As the resin fossilizes, it becomes part of the soil and turns into amber over millions of years. Scientists believe that most of the amber that is found is from the Cretaceous or Tertiary periods, making it between 30 and 90 million years old. Amber is one of the few organic products that are considered gemstones; others include pearls and coral.

Learn more about Geology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is gold a mineral?

    A: Gold is a mineral and was one of the first used by prehistoric cultures. It is appreciated for its physical appearance, its workability and its ability to ... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How is halite formed?

    A: The mineral halite, also known as salt or sodium chloride, is formed by the evaporation of brine lakes or ancient seas. This mineral form of common table s... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How is quartz mined?

    A: The Encyclopedia of Arkansas explains that commercial mining of quartz is rare and occasionally consists of the use of explosives to first expose the quart... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is moissanite?

    A: Moissanite is a mineral with the chemical formula SiC. When it is cut and polished, it can sparkle even more brilliantly than diamond, but it was formerly ... Full Answer >
    Filed Under: