Amber has been known to human kind since prehistoric times – the age of Baltic amber is calculated to be approximately 60 million years. Its golden brilliance and warmth have always attracted the humans.
People used to believe that amber possessed some unknown magical power, thus a small amber ring or necklace brought from Scandinavia by Phoenician merchants was valued more than a healthy young slave.
Amber has more than 30 names; each reflects one of its qualities. The Greek name for amber was electron, thus connecting the stone with the Sun God himself, one of whose titles was Elector or the Awakener. Later this name was used again by one Irish physicist because of electrostatic properties of amber.
The presence of insects in amber was noticed by the Roman natural philosopher – Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia and led him to the correct theory that at some point, amber used to be in a liquid state to cover the bodies of insects. Hence he gave it the expressive name of succinum from Latin word – succus – which means – juice.
The amount of names given to amber is equal to the amount of fields where this material may be used.
First and foremost in all times it was much appreciated as an ornamental material.
The tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen, known for its vast and untouched treasure-contents, contained amber relics. Scythians traded amber a lot thus it almost became their currency. Other peoples used amber in medical purposes.
The healing qualities of amber were known to the Ancient Romans, the medieval alchemists and doctors of the Middle East alike.
Amber medical powder as well as a simple amber necklaces or rings were meant to cure a variety of illnesses. It was believed that there is no disease that amber cannot cure.
In China dark cherry amber was greatly respected. It was called ‘the Emperor’s stone’ and was associated with dragon’s blood. An ancient Chinese proverb says: “when the tiger dies, its soul enters the earth and transforms into stone" referring to the droplets of amber.
It is interesting to point out that today, hundreds of years after the Ancient Egyptians and the Scythians, we, modern people, are still attracted by the warmth of amber and superstitiously believe in its magical powers.
Amber was not only used in medicine but by it as well – in the days when people did not know how to make glass translucent they used to make amber spectacles and magnifiers.
In Russia amber (‘alatyr’) was also well known. One old Russian legend says: “In the ocean-sea, on the island of Buyan there is a burning white stone Alatyr, it is kept secret from all. Under this stone great power lies and there is no limit to it.”
Modern scholars have proved the existence of this island, it is now called Rugen. It is situated in the Baltic Sea and used to be called Ruyan. The main Slavic pagan sanctuary of ancient days was located there.
People of old, ancient philosophers and medieval alchemists tried to explain the mystery of origin of this unique gift of Nature, which combined the warmth of the Sun, the clarity of the sea waters and the scent of the coniferous forest. Only recent research of scholars of the XIX-XX centuries proved that amber is petrified fossil tree sap of relict conifer trees.
Amber deposits are located in many countries of the world – however best quality amber is still mined on the shores of the Baltic Sea.

 General characteristics:

  • Specific gravity: 1.05-1.09 g/cm? 
  • Refractive index: 1,537-1,548 
  • Hardness on Mohs’s scale: 2-3 
  • Shines as glass, with time its shine becomes soapy 
  • Fluorescence: In ultraviolet rays it fluoresce blue 
  • Chemical formula - C10H16O+(H2S)
  • Color - yellow, red, brown (but there are actually millions of colours of amber)


Amber – is a unique natural material. Mysterious and magical it has given rise to numerous tales and legends. In fact amber is a petrified conifer tree sap which is extracted on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Here you can find the highest-quality amber that was used for the creation of one of the Wonders of the World – the Amber Room.