Amber is a fossilized tree resin that has taken million of years to form.
It comes in many shades and colours, although the most common are cognac, honey, green, lemon yellow, ivory and cream.
Because it is an organic substance, each piece is unique.
Occasionally amber will contain remnants of plant matter or insects that were first trapped and preserved millions of years ago.
There are huge deposits of amber located below the bottom of the Baltic Sea and amber stones are thrown by waves during storms.
Baltic amber has been a subject of fascination for many many years. The first written record comes from Homer in 700 B.C when in his famous work ’’The Oddyssey’’ he describes
’’a golden chain of exquisite workmanship strung with amber beads that gleamed like the Sun’’.
But the physical history of this captivating gemstone begins millions of years ago in an ancient pine forest.
Baltic amber dates back to 30-40 million years ago.
AMBER AND MAGIC
In days gone by, amber was acclaimed to possess the power of healing. Worn as a necklace or charm, or carried around in small bags, amber was believed to be a remedy against such ailments as gout, rheumatism, sore throats, toothache and stomach-ache.
It was also believed that amber accelerated birth and was a good remedy against snake bites. To guard against swapping of a new born baby, the infant was often given an amber necklace to wear. It was supposed to contain magical powers, which is why heart shaped amber charms were carried to offer protection against evil forces and help against witchcraft.