What is in a name? Amber has a long and storied history. The sister trees above are found in Ovid's Metamorphoses, where they weep for their brother Phaeton, lost in a quest for recognition by the Sun. And of course they weep Amber, the Tears of the Sun.
-> Amber legends
Amber is a most interesting substance.
Commonly referred to as tree sap, it is anything but sap. Amber forms from resin and contains succinic acid, or succinite. Sap is the fluid substance which flows in the heartwood of the tree and provides nutrients to the tree itself. Resin flows beneath the bark and protects the tree when it's wounded by boring insects or loses a branch due to storm damage. Resin flows like syrup and has a distinct piney, sweet smell. The piney, sweet smell is due to chemicals in the substance known as terpenes. When you see a photograph of a mountainous area full of trees, and there is a light, misty cloud hanging over the trees - that is due to these aromatic chemicals being released by the conifer trees. Time and particular strata that the amber lay in for millions of years help those terpenes break down and escape from the resin, forming amber. Immature amber or copal is a substance in which all the volatile terpenes have not yet left the resin /ppt. presentation/