I have been told a couple of different things, 1) it is opalized pitch from a petrified tree, not worth much. 2) It is petrified pitch, from a petrified tree. I have found a nice piece of petrified wood with several pockets of what I think used to be pitch, when I sliced it thin, I was able to see the rings in the pitch. It is very clear and amber in color. Can anyone help?
Amber is fossilized resin. It is not opalized, opal is a silicate, and amber is only resin, no silica. What you have probably found in the petrified wood is carnelian. Carnelian is frequently found in petrified wood in western Washington. especially in the Toutle/Mount Saint Helens area.
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Post by johnjsgems on Dec 20, 2010 19:39:17 GMT -5
It is pretty common to find clear to brown colored pockets in wood. I've read it is caused by green (living wood) that shrinks as it dries while buried leaving voids. The agate or carnelian fills those voids. The dried wood fossilizes one cell at a time (mineral replacement) preserving growth rings, etc. Occasionally you see crystals in pockets that didn't fill.
Post by jakesrocks on Dec 29, 2010 11:48:03 GMT -5
Tammy, an easy test for amber is to heat a sewing needle to red hot on the tip. Press the hot tip into the suspected amber. If you have amber, it will give off a little bit of smoke which has a pine smell. Real amber is soft enough to be carved with sharp tools, and sanded by hand to a finished shape and polish. Don