Amber - Baltic
Amber is one of the few organic gemstones, being the time-hardened fossilized resin of ancient forest of pine trees, the now extinct Pinus Succinifera, and others. As such it varies from about 20 to 60 million years old.
It was called bernstein (burn stone). The Greek,Thales of Miletus, discovered in about 600 B.C. that amber when rubbed with woolen cloth attracts small bits of things such as straw. The Arabic word for amber means literally straw robber. The Greek word for amber became the word for static electric phenomena.
The history of Baltic Amber began over 80 millionyears ago. It is not tree sap, which runs through the tree, but produced from plant resin which can drip from and ooze down as well as fill internal fissures, trapping debris such as seeds, leaves, feather and insects.It is light and warm to the touch, and readily produces static electricity when rubbed.
The resin became buried and fossilized through a natural polymerization of organic compounds. Due to the physical, chemical and microbiological environment processes resin underwent transformation. At that time massive conifer forests covered the territory of the present day Baltic Sea and Scandinavia. The Amber underwent this transformation from resin to petrified fossil, over the centuries buried under the ice age. When it receded, and the Baltic Sea was formed, Amber started to appear.
Rivers, tributaries carried deposits of Amber down through from the north into the Baltic Regions, adding to the already buried supply.
Baltic amber is used as gem stone since the Mesolithic Period. In the Baltic region, the ancient Rome and Ancient Greece used Amber for jewelry, for medicine and as a stone for spiritual healing. The Roman poet Plinius was angry about the price of amber, saying that it was costlier than a slave! Amber has been used for decoration since the stone age. Amber with special markings such as the initials of ones name was thought to be a great protective talisman since ancient times. Amber always feels warm even in cold weather, always very pleasant to the touch. When rubbed, it becomes charged with static electricity, and will pick up small bits of paper.Supported by scientific research, the faith in the beneficial properties of amber proved to be justified.
it turns out that it is by no accident that amber from the Baltic has acted as a panacea for a multitude of conditions for thousands and thousands of years.
Amber acid was discovered to act as a biostimulant: it stimulates the nervous syst. It also supports and enhances positive energy.Occurrence
Baltic amber is found in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia, and occasionally washed up on the shores of the Baltic Sea as far away as Denmark, Norway, and England.The largest mine in the Baltic region is in Russia, west of Kalingrad.
Colors of Amber
Colors of Amber include yellow, orange, red, white, brown, green, bluish, and "black" (dark shades of other colors).
The degree of transparency varies in amber from clear to cloudy. Clear amber is transparent and usually ranges from pale yellow to dark reddish yellow,
Cloudy amber can be semi-transparent to opaque .
Butter colored amber in all its ranges has tiny bubbles, suspended dust particles, and also compared with the look of whipped honey .
Green amber has tiny bubble inclusions and suspended particles, but it does not have the yellowish appearance of fat. The green color probably results from decaying organic matter in a marsh environment.
Bone or osseous amber is whitish yellow or brown in color, opaque and looks similar to ivory or bone. Black decayed organic debris is commonly found in this type of amber
How Amber was Collected
While some people were fishing for food or pearls, others were in search of the gold of the north. People did fish for amber in the past.
The sea is the oldest known source for amber.
Prehistoric people picked up amber from the Baltic shore, when strong storms and winds brought the material up from amber-bearing strata under the sea.
- Sea amber or scoopstone has provided a livelihood for coast-dwellers for many centuries
- Amber was named scoopstone because of the nets used to gather it from the seaweed. These poles and nets, called "amber-catchers"
- In marshy regions or areas where the tides were unpredictable, amber was collected on horseback. These collectors were called "amber riders"
- The divers carried a wooden spade to loosen the amber from the sea floor. Fishermen would lay over the side of the boat, rake the bottom and then catch the dislodged lumps of amber in nets. Amber was recovered and this method was referred to as "amber poking"
- Many of the mines were open-pit operations where the blue earth was scooped onto conveyers to rail cars. This is called Pit Minning
A natural analgesic (pain reliever).
Amber is a fossilized resin, not a stone. It is therefore warm to the touch, as well as very comfortable and light to wear.
Wearing Baltic amber necklaces and bracelets on the skin can have a soothing and calming effect.
When amber is worn on the skin, the skin's warmth releases small amounts of healing oils from the amber which are then absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream.
Amber's anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties are also recognized by allopathic medicine.
In Austria, Switzerland and Germany, you will find amber necklaces sold in local pharmacies
Today, more than 90% of the world's amber comes from Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia. It is a major source of income for the region; the local Kaliningrad Amber Combine extracted 250 tonnes of it in 2014, 400 tonnes in 2015.