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Amber

Since ancient times amber is considered a stone of health, happiness and sunshine. It is connected with a lot of legends, where its origin is always shrouded in mystery or magic explained.

amber necklace

It is a very interesting stone. More precisely, it is not a stone, and amorphous, fossilized tree resin. Contains up to 8% succinic acid. In total, there are about one hundred and amber-like resin.

The color varies from nearly white and light yellow to reddish-brown and almost black. Some hues looks like yellow topaz. Experts distinguish 350 shades of amber.

Amber deposits are scattered throughout the world, but most of them are in the Baltic States and the Dominican Republic. Dominican amber is a descendant of the rainforest. It could be red, green, and especially rare blue amber. Blue tint amber acquires a certain light thanks to the unique composition of the resin of which it is formed. While there are many theories scientists have not yet figured out the mystery of this stone. In addition to amazing colors blue amber has incredibly pleasant smell when polishing and processing.

Dominican amber

Giant Stones

This "sunstone" sometimes impresses with a surprising size. For example in Burma was found amber weighing more than 15 kilograms. After the stone was presented to the world, it was deposited at the London Natural History Museum.

"The Burmese amber" is not alone. In the second half of the XIX century in Prussia was discovered a stone weighing 12 kilograms.  Two more "sun stones" with unprecedented dimensions have been found in Baltic. The weight of one of them was much higher than 9 kilos, and the second – more than 7 kilos.

amber stones

Despite these findings amber of enormous size rarely occurs in natural deposits. As a rule "sunstone" is no heavier than 5 kg. Only about 10 cases of discovering of giant stones can be counted in the history.

Amber in Times

Along with jade amber is the oldest gemstone known to man as well as its decorative potential.  Amber objects have been found in tombs that date back to about 8000 BC.

amber with inclusion
inclusions in amber

The beauty of amber made ​​it a desirable decoration for many nations. It even was used as an analogue of the monetary unit. It decorated the crown of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun and in ancient Rome there was a period when the stone was in favor with the Roman spoiled fashionmongers  and merchants specifically went for it to the North. As Pliny the Elder once said "little amber figurine cost more than a living slave”.

In Japan and China, cherry hued amber was insignia of the imperial family. In Europe and Russia in the Middle Ages amber was used to create objects of worship - prayer beads, jewelries and plating icons.

amber rough

The Amber Room

amber room

The most famous "creation" of amber is  "The Amber Room", a gift from the Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm in the early 18th century to the Russian Tsar Peter the Great. It is hall at the residence of Russian tsars in Tsarskoe Selo in St. Petersburg with a facing of amber panels with gold and mirrors. The total weight of amber in the hall is more than 6 tons. Some call it the "eighth wonder of the world."

amber room decoration

 During the Second World War (1942) it was removed by the German army and brought to Königsberg (Kaliningrad). Then it disappears and to date its fate is unknown. There are versions that it was destroyed in a bombing, that it is hidden in a secret bunker, that has been taken to the west by the armed forces, etc. In 1979 its re-creation in Catherine's Palace began using in black and white archival photographs. It has been finished in 2003 and today anyone can visit and admire.

Amber as Medicine?

It was believed that there are no diseases that amber could not heal. Suprisingly there is a possible explanation. Amber contains vitamin D3 (succinic acid), nonspecific biostimulant and antiseptic. Succinic acid actually stimulates the nervous system, improves the function of the kidneys and intestines and is used as anti-stress, anti-inflammatory and anti-toxic agent.

Your Amber

If you possess amber treat it with care. Over time it, like pearls, fades from human sweat and heat. To extend its life keep the stone in the dark and wet environment or wrap it from time to time with a wet cloth.

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