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AMBER - WHAT IS IT?

Amber is the name given to excavated tree resin that is more than one million years old.

For a long time it was only Baltic amber that was called amber, containing 3-8 percent succinic acid. It was made of the resin of a certain species of pine tree (Pinus succinifera) and was thus called succinite.

Because other kinds of fossilised resin is being uncovered around the world that also contains succinic acid, today, in order to distinguish between the types of amber around, its location is added to the name, e.g.: Siberian amber, Borneo amber, New Jersey amber, Dominican amber, etc.

There are over 200 kinds of amber in the world with new varieties being discovered each year.

Baltic amber was formed in the Eocene Era (55-40 million years ago).

The warming climate increased resin flow from amber trees, known by the Latin name Pinus succinifera. Their distribution range is associated with Southern and Central Scandinavia and the nearby areas today covered by the Baltic Sea (the Baltic Sea only started forming 13,000 years ago).

Amber deposits only started forming in Poland and Ukraine much later, and are thus considered secondary sources.

The resin underwent changes in the ground of amber forests due to complex physical, chemical and microbiological processes.

The largest deposits of Baltic amber lie in the so-called Blue Earth, on the Sambian Peninsula (Russian Federation).

(Source: Lithuanian Art Museum, pgm.lt)