The bulk of amber in the world is found in the Baltic region of Poland and Russia. Amber has been found washed up on the coasts of England, Norway, and Denmark. Other localities include the Dominican Republic, Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Canada and the USA.
Amber was and still is made into bowls, small statues, works of art, rosary beads and jewelry. In recent years, scientists have begun to study the insects preserved in amber to learn more about past history. That is why it is sometimes referred to as a "window to the past". "Amber is like a time capsule made and placed in the earth by nature herself," said David Federman, author of Consumer Guide to Colored Gemstones. "It has helped paleontologists reconstruct life on earth in its primal phases. More than 1,000 extinct species of insects have been identified in amber."
Amber is mentioned in great works of literature, such as the Odyssey. Homer mentions amber jewelry - earrings and a necklace of amber beads - as a princely gift in the Odyssey.
There are many myths surrounding the origin of amber. In Greek mythology, Ovid wrote about Phaethon, who convinced his father Helios, the Sun God, to allow him to drive the chariot of the sun across the sky for a day. He drove too close to the earth, setting it on fire. To save the earth, Zeus struck Phaethon out of the sky with his thunderbolts, plunging him into the sea. His sisters (the Heliades, the daughters of Helios, the Sun), turned into poplar trees on the bank of the Eridanus River,
A Lithuanian amber myth tells about the story of lost love. Perkunas, God of Thunder, was the father God and his daughter was Jurate, a mermaid who lived in an amber palace in the Baltic. One day a fisherman named Kastytis would cast his nets to catch fish from Jurate's kingdom. The goddess sent her mermaids to warn him to stop fishing in her domain. He did not stop, so Jurate went herself to demand he stop. Once she saw him she fell in love and brought him back to her amber palace. Perkunas, knowing Jurate was promised to Patrimpas, God of Water, was angered to find his daughter in love with a mortal. Perkunas destroyed the amber palace with a bolt of lightening to kill her mortal lover. Her palace was destroyed and Jurate was chained to the ruins for eternity. When storms in the Baltic stir the sea, fragments from the amber palace wash up on shore. Pieces in the shape of tears are particularly treasured, as they are the tears from the grieving goddess, as she weeps tears of amber for her tragic love.
Amber has a pine aroma when heated, and the ancient Germans used amber and burned it as incense, and called it bernstein, or "burn stone."
Amber is an alternate birthstone for November.
Amber has helped track ancient trade routes, and is documented in literature and the mythology of many pre-Christian cultures, and was referred to as "northern gold".
Amber is a fossilized and very old organic substance; amber talismans and jewelry have been found in Stone Age archaeological sites, as well as in ancient burial chambers.
Wear amber to attract
warm, loyal, and generous people into your life; or carry amber on your person
to lend logic or wit to a difficult situation.
Some cultures believe amber has healing abilities because it has electrical properties when rubbed with a cloth, attracting lint/dust. It also has an aroma, and is warm to the touch. The Greek word "electron" means amber. This is where the word "electricity" comes from.
Baltic amber is thought to have healing properties due to its high succinic acid content. Of all types of amber, Baltic amber contains the most succinic acid, which makes it the most valued. Another reason amber is thought to have healing properties is due to the fact that some samples contain the essence of life (DNA material), dating back millions of years. It is believed that amber facilitates and transmits healing energy and psychic activity. Here are some aspects of amber's metaphysical properties:
About the famous Amber Room created at the turn of the 18th century.
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