Microscopic preparation of amber


Polising amber is necessary when one wants to see whatever inclusions it may have – for example, the fossilized ancient animals. Although these animals lived tens of millions of years ago, the amber preserved their shapes in the finest, life-like detail. The finer the polishing is, the better vision of the fossil is obtainable.

Polishing the amber includes two tasks:

1) To hold the sample to be polished in a desired position without squeezing it (the amber may be brittle);

2) Remove the amber from the sample in several iterations, each time applying a finer abrasive.

The task is complicated by

  • the initial sample having an irregular shape;
  • ideally, the rectangular parallelepiped should be its final shape;
  • amber is not tolerant to any significant heating, and none would tolerate temperature over 70 degrees Celsius;
  • the amber should remain clear from any sugar or the other food substrate suitable for the microorganismal growth.