Origins of Amber | Amanda Bass

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Origins of Amber

Amber has been around for a long time. It has been important to many ancient cultures around the world for almost 10,000 years. According to many archaeologists, amber trade routes were established across Europe and extending to the Far East during the Bronze Age. During this time, amber was used to trade between tribes as a commodity. Many excavation sites of the Iron Age show exquisite workmanship of amber figurines, jewelry and artifacts. The progressive ancient civilizations of the Etruscans and Phoenicians were prolific traders of amber. In the Roman and Greek Empires, amber was held in high regard. To the Romans, amber was more valuable than healthy young slaves. When the Teutonic Knights ruled Prussia during the medieval period, the popularity of amber resurfaced. During this time, the Teutonic Knights controlled the sales and production of amber within the Baltic region. Today, various artisans and jewelers use amber to create beautiful designs in jewelry. This keeps the magic and mystery of amber alive.

Major Amber Deposits around the World Today

Amber is located in various parts of the world. The largest amber deposits are off the shores Northern Europe by the Baltic and North Sea. Sambia, is one of the most amber producing places. Several pieces of amber can sometimes be collected on the east cost of the United Kingdom. These pieces have more than likely been bought from the North Sea.

What is considered the Best Amber for Jewelry

The bulk of the world's amber is found around the Baltic Sea. The amber is found along the beach or is mined. There are also sizable amounts of amber in Latvia, Poland, Russia, Columbia and the Dominican.

Relationship of Amber with Russia

One of the world's largest amber mines is located in Yantarny, Kaliningrad (formally known as Palmnicken) producing up to 90% of the world's amber supply. Much of the amber mined is shipped to Russia to be polished and processed. Amber is also found along the coasts of Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Lithuania. This is the where the most old amber is produced and many believe the amber deposits were created during the "Eocene" era, around 34-55 million years ago. The fossils that are inside the Baltic amber can be seen with the bare eye and are fairly rare. Baltic amber also contains varying sizes of bubbles trapped inside.

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