History of Amber Trade and Routes | Amanda Bass designs

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  • Historical Amber Trade

    Historical-Amber-Trade.pngEurope and Central Asia has the "Silk" road and Persia and South Asia has the "Spice" road. What is now known today as Eastern Europe today became the backdrop of the "Amber" road. This earliest routes transported people from far away to come together in a bazaar-like environment with the prime goal to understand, reflect, admire, and eventually barter for the precious amber fossils that were bejeweled in front of their eyes. The presence of amber created a infrastructure and trading hub post. Various countries in and around the region associated with one another and communities were formed. These thriving sector and trading outposts became the central nervous system to the commercialization of amber and its associated product variations. Amber was becoming an extravagance item. As an amenity found few locations, it became one of the few items that were valuable to transport over such spaces. The ancient route can be outlined from the Baltic Sea to the Elbe River, and down to Danube.

    The original amber trade route was from the North over water, then Jutland to Elbe, Western Pomerania, then to the Oder through Bohemia, over Pomerania to Vistula, and finally the Samland Peninsula straight to the Black Sea Coast. Then by going overland through Brenner Pass down into Italy, to the Roman Empire. With this network in place it made the Roman Empire take note of amber. In the Roman Empire, they valued amber even more than a slave.

    The Phoenicians were already trading amber with the Baltic region. Around 3,000 B.C., amber from the Baltic region was traded with southern Europe and there were various trade routes crossing Europe and leading into the Far East. During the Roman Emperor Nero reign he had several Roman soldiers search for what was called "Gold of the North"; the soldiers brought the Roman Emperor loads of amber to Rome.

    Amber was Popular in Jewelry

    Amber has been around for many years. Some of the earliest records date back to the Stone Age around 13,000 years ago. Amber has been found within the Mycenaean as well as across Europe. Baltic Amber is the most sought after and valuable for making amber jewelry. The reason for this is due to the many qualities, but mainly to the attractiveness of its numerous selections. The profusion of amber's many deposits and buildups as well as its incidence to be found in small pieces to large pieces enable amber to be used several ways. Large amber has allowed places as the famous Amber Room or the Amber Altar to be constructed.

    Economic History of Amber

    Due to the light unique characteristics of amber, it made it easy to transport from a place where it was plentiful, the Baltic Sea, to areas where it was not. This made amber one of the first long distance trade items. In the first days of transporting amber, people from the Baltic Sea area where surprised to find that people would pay for items that appeared to be limitless in their area. However, people outside of the Baltic Sea area found amber to be something beautiful like nothing else.

    Older Amber and Its Colors are Valued

    Old amber is considered more "mature" and has a "time patina" to the coloration, making it more valuable. Amber with pieces of intact insects, multiple fossils, plants and such are highly priced and considered valuable. The older the stone, the higher the price will be. Baltic amber is usually the older, and of higher quality. However, the amber mined from the Dominican Republic usually contains more trapped insects. This type of amber is valuable to collectors and scientists.

    Mystique of Amber

    Amber is known to be a "Window to the Past". Amber lovers collect Baltic amber for its natural beauty and its spiritual linkage to the world around us. These adorers are mystified by these living and ancient artifacts and cannot explain their significance and cannot refer to this spiritual presence by name. It is said that it is better this way. The lure and arousal of amber is powerful and magical. This magic is what is represented by Amanda Bass and its founders - to fulfill the desires and yearning that amber brings to the world. These admirers pay homage to amber by making them into forms of jewelry. These are convinced that something so old and prehistoric - and precious - needs to be adorned and lavished with other natural beauty that the word offers. Therefore, one can see amber highlighted by gold, silver, and other precious minerals such as sapphire, amethyst, pearl, and topaz.

    Amber in Perfumery

    True amber is not used in making perfume as it doesn't produce much scent. However, the term amber is used in perfume to imitate warm golden amber. The ancient Chinese would burn amber at festivities. When amber has been heated just right, the amber oil will produce a "pinewood" fragrance.

    Where is the Most Ancient Amber Found

    There are many amber deposits located all over the world, with deposits of amber varying in age, origin, composition and color. Most of this amber is from the Tertiary period. A piece of amber weighing 33.5 lbs. and clear in color was mined in northern Myanmar and is thought to be approximately 40 to 50 million years old. There are smaller amber deposits of Sicilian amber that are thought to be approximately 20 million years old.

    Mystique of Amber

    Amber is known to be a "Window to the Past". Amber lovers collect Baltic amber for its natural beauty and its spiritual linkage to the world around us. These adorers are mystified by these living and ancient artifacts and cannot explain their significance and cannot refer to this spiritual presence by name. It is said that it is better this way. The lure and arousal of amber is powerful and magical. This magic is what is represented by Amanda Bass and its founders - to fulfill the desires and yearning that amber brings to the world. These admirers pay homage to amber by making them into forms of jewelry. These are convinced that something so old and prehistoric - and precious - needs to be adorned and lavished with other natural beauty that the word offers. Therefore, one can see amber highlighted by gold, silver, and other precious minerals such as sapphire, amethyst, pearl, and topaz.

    Types of Amber