About Baltic Amber

 

Baltic Amber is an "organic gemstone", it is a naturally fossilized tree resin which was formed over 45 million years ago and is found on the coast of the Baltic sea, surrounding forests & underground deposits which are commonly mined.  It is desired for its striking coloration, rich history and natural healing properties. Because amber is a resin, it is the lightest known gemstone which makes it warm to the touch & comfortable to wear, perfect for teething necklaces & jewellery. 

Amber Health Benefits 

In addition to being a truly alluring & captivating gemstone; Baltic amber has a rich history of its use as a natural healing agent. Users throughout the world have long reported its benefits in reducing teething pain, inflammation, drooling, muscle & joint pain, general well being and a sense of emotional uplift. The effects of wearing amber jewellery are not limited to babies either; Mums, dads, uncles & aunties, even arthritis suffers have all reported positive effects. 

Baltic amber contains a very unique compound called "succinic acid" and for centuries users throughout the world have believed that wearing amber close to the skin will warm the amber and absorb the succinic acid transdermally. Spas & wellness centers have even adapted to using crushed amber in creams & spas to try reduce inflammation in muscles. 

Although the chemical makeup of Baltic amber is completely safe, we must reiterate the importance of safe practices & adult supervision when an infant or child is wearing jewellery. Please follow our safety instructions outlined Here.

The Origin of Baltic Amber

Baltic Amber does indeed have a rich & mystical history – Known as “The gold of the North” or, the “Gem of the Baltic”. The prized gemstone originated as the sap from an ancient extinct tree species of pine that was left behind by a mighty forest in the Scandinavian region, the “Amber forest”.

Historically, the origin of Baltic amber was a mystery which could only be explained with myths.

An ancient European Legend tells a story about how the amber stones are debris of a sea goddess’s underwater palace, “Jurata’s Palace” which was made with a magnificent structure of Amber that was struck down & shattered into pieces by the mighty god, Perkun when he found out she was having an affair with a fisherman.

" For a year, Queen Jurata had been coming to the shore every evening to meet with her lover above the water; but when Perkun found out about this, he was infuriated that the goddess had dared fall in love with a mortal. One time when she returned to her palace, he sent a lightning bolt from the sky which split the tides and hit the queen’s residence, killing her and shattering her amber palace into little pieces."

Further stories tell a tale of disaster being the origin of the amber;
" after forty days of rain, the land was flooded. The tears of the people crying over their harsh fate turned into amber when they fell into the flood of water "

Interestingly this myth is similar to Greek mythology where amber was created from the tears of Helaides sisters, Phaeton. The sisters were mourning the death of their brother on the river bank, the sisters tears fell to the water & were turned into Amber.

Amber throughout the ages

Dating back to ancient times, Baltic amber has been prized for a number of uses & purposes. Medieval Warriors would have amulets made of Baltic Amber for their belief their amber would bring protection. The amulets were often passed onto their babies & children for safe keeping, to protect them from evil and comfort them, to provide a connect between father & son or mother & daughter.

There is also an association with Baltic Amber & the sun - The vibrant yellow & orange hues which represent the sun are believed to bring a celestial body of warmth, healing & well being, a sense of comfort, relaxed mind & body, and a spirit which brings us closer with the universe.

Neolithic solar amulet discovered in the Vistula Spit, ca. 2500-2200 B.C.,

Egyptians also respected this stone, considering it a reservoir of solar energy.

“Amber could be the fresh fruit of the attention of Ra (God of Sun). The Gods live in its sweet scent; and it’s color, much like Gold.”

 

Edgyption Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s Breast ornament, 1352 BC, which had been made of solid silver and included large amber falls.

Not surprisingly, magic workers & ancient witches would often wear amber necklaces, believed to be charged with powerful energies. The possession of such a necklace indicated great power and esteem – "a magical item that glowed, as if with sunshine".

Ambers novelty, shining & glistening colors & beliefs made the gemstone a treasure, so rare that early chieftains took amber with them to their graves, perhaps in the belief that the objects buried with them could be used in another world.

The Vikings were known to carve Amber into animal shapes & wear them during raids & wars as pendants or charms, they believed the carved animals would carry the strengths & traits of the carved animal. While in Ancient Greek, woman wore amber fish, frogs & rabbits to improve fertility.



Ancient Viking Amber Carving 

Since Amber hosts once living things such as plant matter, bark, twigs, insects & even small animals, it has been considered the fifth element, bounding together the elements of earth, air, fire & water. 

It has been burnt as incense to release powerful natural spiritual properties, used in rituals to send off the dead, made into jewellery, rosaries, sculptures, mosaics, medicine, embellished in clothing, kings crowns, tombs, the list goes on. 

Even today, wearing Baltic Amber jewellery has been a symbol of good fortune & wealth – The mystical stone with rich history & powerful folklore properties, an enchanting & beautiful gemstone.

Amber Formation 

Baltic amber originates from an extinct tree species of pine that grew in Northern Europe. It is believed that approximately 45-50 million years ago with the climate heat increase the trees released copious amounts of resin, these resins were washed through the forests and down the rivers until they reached the Baltic sea, with time the resin became hardened and fossilized until it finally reached a stable state through oxidation. 

Chemical Makeup

Baltic amber is made up of 79% carbon, 10.5% hydrogen and 10.5% oxygen. It contains over 40 compounds which include potassium, sodium and iron, with its most prized compound, Succinic acid at levels between 3-8%. 

Color Variation

The color of amber can vary from a range of yellows, oranges & browns to an almost black, with rarer colors ranging from deep red (0.5% of all amber) to green (2% of all amber) and the rarest color of all, blue (0.2% of all amber).

Inclusions

Amber is a fossil resin, its original form was a sticky tacky resin which collected anything it touched before it went through the process of fossilization. This is why every single piece is unique, with the ability to find "Inclusions" which can contain prehistoric plant matter, bugs, and a variety of other natural things.

 

Catching Baltic Amber