Baltic Amber Deposits Around The World | Amanda Bass

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    Amber Deposits Around The World

    Amber is found in various parts of the world. The largest amber deposits are off the shores of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. The great amber-producing country is the promontory of Sambia, now a part of Russia.

    How is Amber usually Found?

    Pieces of amber from the sea-floor are cast up by the waves, and collected at ebb-tide. Sometimes the searchers wade into the sea, furnished with nets at the end of long poles, by means of which they drag in the sea-weed containing entangled masses of amber; or they dredge from boats in shallow water and rake up amber from between the boulders. Divers have been employed to collect amber from the deeper waters. Systematic dredging on a large scale was at one time carried on in the Curonian Lagoon by Messrs Stantien and Becker, the great amber merchants of Konigsberg. At the present time extensive mining operations are conducted in quest of amber. The pit amber was formerly dug in open works, but is now also worked by underground galleries. The nodules from the blue earth have to be freed from matrix and divested of their opaque crust, which can be done in revolving barrels containing sand and water. The sea-worn amber has lost its crust, but has often acquired a dull rough surface by rolling in sand.

    Wide Varieties of Amber in the World

    Rolled pieces of amber, usually small but occasionally of very large size, may be picked up on the east coast of England, having probably been washed up from deposits under the North Sea. Cromer is the best-known locality, but it occurs also on other parts of the Norfolk coast, as well as at Great Yarmouth, Southwold, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe in Suffolk, and as far south as Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex, whilst northwards it is not unknown in Yorkshire. On the other side of the North Sea, amber is found at various localities on the coast of the Netherlands and Denmark. On the shores of the Baltic it occurs not only on the German and Polish coast but in the south of Sweden, in Bornholm and other islands, and in southern Finland. Amber has indeed a very wide distribution, extending over a large part of northern Europe and occurring as far east as the Urals. Some of the amber districts of the Baltic and North Sea were known in prehistoric times, and led to early trade with the south of Europe through the Amber Road. Amber was carried to Olbia on the Black Sea, Massilia (today Marseille) on the Mediterranean, and Adria at the head of the Adriatic; and from these centers it was distributed over the Hellenic world.

    Amber in Denmark

    Amber is found primarily along the west coast of Jutland, from the southern border with Germany to the tip of Skagen. In 1940 a large number of amber beads, dating from 2500-2200 B.C., were discovered in Jutland. They are currently on display at the Skive Museum. The region, including the west coast of Denmark and adjacent Germany, is the originating area for the Bronze Age amber trade route to the Mediterranean. Amber was more plentiful in this region in the past than at present. It has been estimated that about 80% of the amber sold by Denmark today, is imported into the country from Poland, the CIS and Germany.

    Baltic Amber (often called Russian Amber)

    This type of amber is historically known as "Prussian Amber". This type of amber is found and mined in what was once called Konigsberg. Since 1945 has been known as Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. The type of amber held in these fossil inclusions that show the Earth's plates being closer together than they are today.

    Caribbean Amber (often called Dominican Amber)

    In 1942, Christopher Columbus got a surprise when he arrived in the new world. When he landed on the island called "La Hispaniola" by the Spaniards (today Dominican Republic and Haiti), he was gifted a pair of shoes that had been decorated with amber from the Caribbean. This gift was given after he gifted a young prince a string of Baltic amber.

    Dominican Republic amber is notorious for the variety of fossils within. Dominican Amber has an occurrence of about 10x that of insects than does Baltic amber. Amber in the Dominican is about 90% more translucent. Dominican amber is also unique from other amber regions because it varies colors, from a pale buttery color to a deep rosy color, to the infrequent smoky olive green color, and a cerulean color.

    Amber Found in India, Brazil and Elsewhere

    There are other regions in the world where amber is found. They include Burma, Dominican Republic, Germany, Sicily England, Malaysia, Mexico, India, Brazil, North America and Malaysia. The amber found in these regions can have a different coloration than the Baltic amber. The largest known source of amber still remains in the Baltic region.

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