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Baltic Amber - Today V Past

Jewellery & Watch News

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Some things never change! And when it comes to Baltic amber the fascination has never waned. Today, scientists have solved many unknowns that centuries ago were explained by magical tales of love, loss and greed. All those years ago it was difficult to understand how vibrant orange stones were washed up on the shore. Therefore, legends were passed down through generations as a way of explaining the presence of such extraordinary gemstones. These myths that have been romantically recited bringing an air of mystique to the alluring stone. It is a fond part of amber’s long heritage that can not be missed out. However, we now know for certain that amber is fossilised tree resin dating back approximately 40-60 million years ago. More on that here

 

Follow the Ancient Amber Road

 

Due to the popularity of amber, a lucrative trade route was established to transport the gold of the north out of the Baltic region to the Mediterranean Sea and beyond. The beloved gemstone has been discovered as far as Greece, Syria and Egypt - amber was found in the King Tutankhamun’s breastplate. It is believed that the Amber Road started in the 16th century BC and continued into the Roman Empire. Amber was a great to transport and those who lived in areas where the fiery stone was scarce desperately wanted to use the beautiful gem for decoration. The route was very successful at transporting the unique gemstone with many extraordinary monuments constructed out of Baltic amber. History enthusiasts can take a trip along the famous route and view remnants of past trading and admire some of these mesmerising monuments.

 

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Admire the Amber Room

 

An extraordinary room with a mysterious story to tell! Work began back in 1701 to construct a magnificent amber room in Charlottenburg Palace located in Prussia, which is today known as Germany. Peter the Great was a great admirer of the magnificent room, so much so that the King of Prussia presented it to him as gift. It was then installed in the Catherine Palace in Russia until German soldiers shipped it to Germany during World War II where it was recreated in a castle museum. The last that was heard of the beautiful room was in 1943 when it was once again packed up. No one has heard of it since. Today, the famous Amber room has been replicated in its original home, Catherine Palace where it can be viewed by tourists with an interest in history. 

 

 The Amber Capital 

 

Baltic amber is still highly sought after with Gdańsk being referred to as the amber capital. It is impossible to miss on a visit to the Polish city. Many love to wear the mesmerising stone in the form of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings but just make sure that you are purchasing a genuine piece of amber as there are a lot of fakes around. Scientists also have a keen interest in amber’s inclusions observing the insects that are frozen in time from millions of years go. It is a fascinating and beautiful gemstone with an interesting history making it a favourite amongst many.  The Amber Road may have just become an essential part of your wish-list for when travel is back on the agenda. 

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