Sierra Leone copal

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MFA- Copal, Sierra Leone.jpg

A medium-hard variety of Copal resin obtained from the Copaifera guibourtiana tree native to the British colony of Sierra Leone in Africa. Sierra Leone copal is a pale yellow uniform resin that has been used in varnishes.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Copaifera guibourtiana; copal de Sierra Leona (Esp.)


  • Combustible, burning with a bright flame, dense smoke, and strong smell.

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Slightly soluble in acetone, amyl alcohol, ethanol, benzene, ether, turpentine.
  • Saponification number = 146-150
  • Acid number = 109-114.
  • Most copals fluoresce white under short-wave UV light.
  • Melting Point = 130-200 C

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966 Comment: gives trees as Copaifera guibourtiana
  • "Copal: An Immature and Controversial Resin" at - gives tree as Copaifera guibourthiana