Amber is a resin. The oldest amber come from the late triassic period and are over 200 million years old. They were found in the Alps and in New Mexico in the USA. Those are, however, small pellets with no use for jewelers. . The biggest deposits of amber are linked with tertiary period. They can be found on Borneo and in the Gdańsk Bay. From this last place comes the Baltic amber – the most beautiful and the most desired.
Baltic amber is made of resin of the conifers from the area of present Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea. It was transported by the river which had its estuary near the Gdańsk Bay, Kaliningrad and coast of Lithuania. This is where resin changed with time into amber.
Amber is mostly yellow, sometimes colorless, red or greenish. Many of us thinking about amber think about flies, mosquitoes and other insects trapped in it. They were caught in the resin.
Earlier amber was used as a remedy for rheumatism, sore throat, lung illness and many other ailments. Nowadays it is mostly used as decoration.
The polish name for amber – bursztyn – comes from the German ''bernstein'' which means a stone that burns. The Greeks called it ''electron'', which means glowing and shining. It was noticed in ancient Greece that the holly stone, called also that way, can attract other things after being rubbed with a cloth. Because this phenomenon was difficult to explain, it was perceived as a magic.
Amber can be easily processed. Polishing, grinding, rinsing and drying are only a few of the necessary processes that are used to change amber into a beautiful jewel. The best craftsmen can change amber into a real work of art; for example lighthouses, ships, planes, money trees or even chess.
Archeological findings show that in the Pomerania amber was processed already 4500 years ago. Nowadays we can admire many wonderful jewelry products made of either pure amber only or pure amber at different combinations with precious metals. Incredible combinations of amber with silver or white gold attract our attention.
Chemical formula of amber – C10 H16 O – indicates that it consists of 79% of carbon, 10% of oxygen, 11% of hydrogen, as well as trace amounts of sylphur and iodine.
The biggest amber stone ever found weights 15, 25 kg and just like other biggest gemstones has its own name - The Burma Amber.
Amber Room: the amber room was created in the beginning of the 13th century, inspired by king Frederick I of Prussia. It took a couple of years to select stones of appropriate size and color. Finally a room made of 12 wall panels and 10 pieces of wainscot that could have been freely arranged was created.
Reliefs and ornaments portraying garlands, crests or everyday life scenes were created by using properly selected amber. The ceilings were decorated with sparkling chandeliers, while next to the walls stood candlesticks made of amber. When the Amber Room was ready it was unanimously announced as the 8th wonder of the world. The history and whereabouts of this amber work of art remains unknown to this day, and the Room is still being searched for many amber enthusiasts.
Amber Route: The trade route between the coasts of Adriatic and Baltic seas, leading through Kujawy, Greater Poland, Silesia and the Moravian Gate was named the Amber Route.