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What is Baltic amber?

By Marie Clarke
What is Baltic amber?

Baltic amber is a fossilised tree resin which was formed from pine trees millions of years ago. When a tree is injured it produced this resin or sap which it uses to repair and protect itself. The resin was washed out of the forest floor by large rivers and transported south towards the sea. In the course of time the resin was transformed to amber due to processes of polymerisation and oxidation. Lithuanian sea sides are famous for the amber found on the shores of the Baltic Sea. What is more, Lithuania even has its own Amber Museum in Palanga, one of the biggest Lithuanian sea sides. Many souvenirs made from amber are sold in Lithuania and by some people amber is even considered to be the gold of nature.

The amber pieces are often harvested and collected from the beach. Baltic amber is high in an ingredient called succinic acid. Baltic amber is a resin not a stone. It is therefore warm to the touch, as well as very comfortable and light to wear.

The amber pieces are carefully cleaned polished and drilled to create the beatiful beads that we use in our jewellery today. Every piece of amber is unique. Take time to look at the beads and the little pieces of nature that they have collected along their journey. Little pieces that are preserved for eternity.

Baltic amber has been historically significant in medicine dating back to prehistoric times. Small pieces of amber have been found inserted under the skin of ancient Egyptian mummies. The Egyptians believed in amber's power to stop destruction and decay. The ancient Romans and Greeks believed in the magical power of amber, they even buried people with amber necklaces as a symbol of influence and power. In ancient China it was customary to burn amber during large festivities. This practice both signified the wealth of the host as well as honouring the guests.

Obviously amber has always been widely used in jewellery and arts. Many jewellers who create outstanding designs enjoy working with amber because of its unique feature to spread the warmth. It is also a relatively soft material with various colour shades, thus a piece of amber jewellery can include a stunning arrangement of tones and hues. Amber jewellery is a product of nature, with its unique inclusions, colours and textures every piece is never the same. That's what adds extra character, beauty and mystery. Amber is also important in religion as it was used in various rituals.

Well-crafted amber jewellery lasts forever.

If you have an allergy to trees or tree resin please do not use amber as it may cause an allergic reaction.

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