Amber and Silver Jewelery with Amber
Baltic amber is an organic substance, which is a fossil resin, formed in natural conditions at least 40 million years ago. Resin leaked from cuts, cracks in trunks and tree branches. It is said that there are two reasons for this. First, trees defended themselves against such increased resin flow by covering the wounds, blocking the access of viruses and parasitic fungi. Secondly, it could have been the reaction of trees to climate change, significant temperature fluctuations and exceptional volcanic activity. It has survived to our times in forms that document the way it is formed and moved. About 60 varieties of amber are known. The richest known deposits of amber, estimated at 90% of the total world resources, are located in the Kaliningrad Oblast.
The name "amber" comes from the German word "bernstein" (a stone that burns). It creates irregular lumps. The largest piece of Baltic amber found weighs 9.75 kg. The most common is yellow amber, less common are colorless, red and greenish varieties, and their transparency depends on the content of tiny air bubbles. Amber nuggets sometimes contain the remains of animals or plants from the Cretaceous and Cenozoic periods, the so-called inclusions. Permanent inclusions are represented by various minerals, e.g. pyrite or quartz, and insects, less frequently arachnids, small amphibians and reptiles, plants and their remains.
The most famous type of amber - succinite, is found in Tertiary formations of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Denmark and Germany. Other fossil resins are found in Argentina (amber), Africa and Madagascar. In folk medicine, the smoke of amber sticks killed germs, and the beads worn around the neck prevent sore throats and headaches and strengthen the thyroid gland. Heated amber lumps were used to extract foreign bodies (midges, pollen) from the eyes. The crushed powder was taken as snuff to cleanse the sinuses and help with a runny nose. Contemporary lithotherapy uses amber as a tincture in the treatment of diseases of the thyroid gland, throat, hoarseness and rheumatism.
Ways of extracting amber:
-collecting pieces of amber thrown away by the sea
- fishing in the net during storms at sea
- rinsing with water under pressure under the ground
-extraction by opencast mines