The history of Baltic amber

08/07/2019 0 Comment(s)

The history of Baltic amber, which is also called succinate, is spanning more than 40 million years. From the ancient times, people have admired the beauty of this stone and argued about its origin.

Legends and myths of antiquity


The Ancient Greeks, for i
nstance, had a very touching legend about the amber stone roots. Phaeton while driving the sun chariot of his father damaged the Earth. Zeus got furious and threw him into the river, where Phaeton faced his death. His grief-stricken sisters cried so much, that Zeus turned them into pine trees. Drops of their tears dripped into water and solidified there, turning into hard crystals.



There is also a Polish assumption of these stones genesis. It is about princess Jurata who used to live in magnificent palace made of amber. She felt very isolated and lonely, that’s why when she met a poor angler they fell in love. Unfortunately, the mighty King of Seas heard about their relations. He got enraged, killed the two lovers and destroyed the palace. Tiny pieces of «Baltic Gold» fell into the sea and now sometimes float to the surface or emerge at the shore to remind us of their love.





       The theory of the vegetable origin of the stone



There were numerous hypotheses of succinite appearance and many of them were connected with tears. Even before our era, Sophocles believed that amber was formed from the tears of birds. But only in 1850s people came up with the conclusion that it has plant origin. Here are a few facts about this gem:



  • resin of any prehistoric tree can become amber, not only of the conifer;
  • the nuggets have impurities of minerals that affect the color of the stone;
  • the structure is formed under the temperature and in the absence of oxygen;
  • it takes millions of years for the stone to mature.





Extraction of raw amber in the Baltic region



Before the middle of the XIX century, all Baltic amber was considered as sea amber or sea stone, because it was collected directly in the sea or on the coast. Moreover, it is still one of the simplest methods of acquiring raw gem. A few decades later, people began extracting succinite by mining clay deposits close to the seashore.



«Baltic gold» jewelry



Just like today, it was mainly used to create jewelry and charms. What is more, succinite is considered to be one of mankind’s oldest used gem materials. In the past, the greatest number of amber manufactories were located in Gdansk and Kurpie. Nowadays most of the world’s extractable sun stone is found in Kaliningrad.



Besides using amber as fossils for jewelry, the medieval artisans produced figures, boxes, vases and mosaics. Succinite was extremely popular not only in Europe. They brought raw amber and then made bracelets, necklaces, buttons, tubes, mouthpieces. At the French court fashionable women wore pendants made of amber with flies, and not everyone could afford such a toy. It was also highly appreciated in Asia and beloved by Egyptians and Arabians. Despite the difficulties, they were making a long way from the Adriatic coast to buy «Baltic Gold». 





The healing properties of this wonderful mineral



Succinite seems so fascinating for people not only due to its beautiful glistening styles, but also because of its healing properties. Amber is believed to protect from disease, cure stomachaches, eye and ear complaints, sore throats and stop spasms. Along with it, «Baltic Gold» helps to cope with the discomfort of teething. Some people thought that it could prevent madness. In addition, a few centuries ago the stone was a tool to fight off the supernatural.



Sun stone of health, happiness and love




In the modern world, it is widely used in anti-aging medicine. Wearing amber jewelry is a very simple and effective way to soothe pain and improve health. Holding in hands amber beads boosts mental and physical strength. It is a stone of health, happiness and love, a powerful talisman and amulet. It helps the owner to avoid problems, quarrels and unpleasant situations. This sun stone supports optimism, gives comfort in different situations, sharpens intuition, and brings good luck.

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