Identification of rumanite (Romanian amber) as thermally altered succinite (Baltic amber)

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doi: 10.1007/s002690000111
Authors:Stout, E. C.; Beck, C. W.; Anderson, K. B.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Amber Research Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, New York, NY, United States
Volume Title:Physics and Chemistry of Minerals
Source:Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 27(9), p.665-678. Publisher: Springer-Verlag, Berlin-New York, Federal Republic of Germany. ISSN: 0342-1791
Publication Date:2000
Note:In English. 59 refs.; 3 tables
Summary:Romanian amber (rumanite) has been considered to be a separate species of fossil resin for more than a century. While earlier investigators held it to be very similar to succinite (Baltic amber), it has been assigned to a different botanical origin. Almost all of the constituents of the ether-soluble fractions of 13 specimens of authentic rumanite, identified by GC-MS, have been previously reported in the soluble fraction of succinite, including succinic acid and its monoterpene esters. Additionally and significantly, the soluble fraction of rumanite contains a number of defunctionalized compounds that do not pre-exist in succinite, but that are produced by pyrolysis of whole succinite or of its insoluble polymeric fraction. Simultaneous methylation pyrolysis-GC-MS of the polymeric fraction of seven of the rumanite specimens yielded further copious amounts of dimethyl succinate, a number of diterpene resin acid methyl esters and additional defunctionalized compounds known to be pyrolysis products of succinite. The evidence shows conclusively that the botanical origin of rumanite is not distinct from that of succinite. Rather, rumanite is a succinite that has suffered partial thermal degradation in the course of the folding of the Oligocene Kliwa sandstone formation in which it is most commonly found. [A.A.F.]
Sections:Gemstones
Subjects:Amber; Gas chromatograms; Hydrothermal alteration; Mass spectra; Metasomatism; Organic minerals; Pyrolysis; Spectra; Baltic region; Europe; Romania; Southern Europe; Rumanite; Succinite
Abstract Numbers:01M/1645
Record ID:2002029536
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Mineralogical Abstracts, United Kingdom, Twickenham, United Kingdom, Reference includes data from Geoline, Bundesanstalt fur Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe
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