What is amber? * Amber definition * Age of amber * Deposits of amber * Images of amber * Use of amber * Amber jewelry * Amber mining and more ...
Natural traditional European baby teething remedy
Natural 100% authentic Baltic amber

What is amber?

Real amber is technically not a gemstone or mineral, but instead is fossilized sap from prehistoric trees that grew as far back as almost fifty million years ago, primarily in Scandinavia and elsewhere around the Baltic Sea. It is generally accepted that the amber from the Baltic region is the world’s finest.

Baltic amber is a fossilized tree sap. Baltic amber is 30-50 milion years old. Baltic amber is mined in the Baltic sea. The origin of amber is Baltic Sea, Yantarny, near Kaliningrad (Russia), former Prussia (Palmnicken). This small Baltic region holds 90% of all world deposits of high quality amber.

 

 

Natural "Jewelry grade amber" - raw unpolished Baltic amber gemstones

Picture - Raw Baltic amber pieces - image

Small raw Baltic amber pieces also called as "amber chips"

Picture - Small Baltic amber pieces also called as amber chips or amber splinters - image

 

Word "amber"

Word "amber" (the name is derived from the old Arabic word "anbar"), but greek "elektron", that`s the origin of the word electricity. If you rub amber on a cloth it becomes charged with negative electricity.

Jurassic park movie made amber famous

Jurassic Park movie made Baltic amber famous. The book and the movie used the idea that amber containing an ancient mosquito might be the key to recreating dinosaurs. The basic goal was to remove blood from the gut of a mosquito that had fed on a dinosaur just before being trapped in tree resin which later became amber.

Amber as symbol

Amber is used to symbolise power, command and authority. It indicates that rewards come through the productive intellect and the harvest of creative faculties. Wearing amber, either as a stone or as a string of beads, brings victory despite competition and opposition. It counteracts the dangers of loss through law.

Amber jewelry

Amber jewelry has been made since before the time of Christ; and at the height of the Roman Empire amber was called "Gold of the North". For centuries Amber jewelry was worn only by nobility and not affordable to the masses. Because amber was ascribed many healing properties it came to be used medicinally in many cultures. As centuries passed, more and more of the masses could afford to own treasured amber jewelry. Even today it is thought that wearing amber jewelry will instill confidence in the wearer, balance a person's mood, and lessen depression and anxiety.

Amber mining

Amber is typically found not where it was formed, but where it was transported. In the past, Baltic amber tended to wash up on the shoreline after storms, mostly on the Samland (today's Kaliningrad) Peninsula.

In 1875 the first open pit amber mine was established at Palmnicken, and the million pound mark was reached in 1895. The extraction process had undergone complete mechanization by 1930, and the procedure has changed little since then. Conveyers dump earth containing amber into waiting freight cars, which then transport the earth to spray houses. Next, high-pressure hoses separate the "blue earth," the name which the Germans gave the amber-containing soil, from the amber.

Modern time Baltic amber mining images.

Baltic amber mining near the shores of the Baltic sea

Picture - Baltic amber mining in Baltic sea -

Picture - Baltic amber mine Yantarny (Palmnicken), Russia, Baltic Sea - image

Physical Properties of Amber

A mineral is a naturally occurring homogeneous solid with a definite chemical composition and ordered crystalline structure. It is usually of an inorganic origin. Amber is not a mineral, because it has an organic origin and amorphous structure (no orderly internal arrangement of atoms).

Amber Composition

Can vary greatly depending on the botanical source, though all have terpenes or compounds that are linked as the resin matures. It is thought that Baltic amber, or succinite, contains 3-8% succinic acid (succus is Latin for juice); succinic acid is believed to form from microorganism-induced fermentation of the cellulose contained in the resin. One composition of an amber variety is: oxygenated hydrocarbon (carbon 67-87%, hydrogen 8.5-11%, oxygen 15%, sulfur 0-0.46%). Although this composition was believed to be the hardened tree resin from the genus Pinus, chemical studies show these pines were not the source of Baltic amber.

The average composition of amber leads to the general formula C10H16O.

Amber hardness

Hardness: 1-3. Burmese amber, or amber from Myanmar, is the hardest at 3 on the hardness scale; Baltic amber is usually in the range of 2-2.5; Dominican amber is the softest at 1-2. Geologically younger amber tends to be softer than amber that has been buried for a long time.

Healing properties of amber

Ancient Germanic tribes such as the Goths, other Nordic peoples, Celts, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Chinese and other peoples valued amber for it's beauty, protection and healing properties. Amber was also called Electra, Bernstein or Northern Gold due to its electrical properties and golden color and was traded far and wide in the ancient world.

To learn more about healing properties of Baltic amber please click here.

 

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