Amber is an amazingly beautiful type of jewelry, with each piece being unique.
But did you know it's actually not a gemstone? Nor is it a rock!
What many people don't know is amber is fossilized tree resin that's taken millions of years to form. As you can imagine, this makes it a very special piece of jewelry to have.
One particular type of amber that's popular is amber from Poland. Why?
Read on, and we'll tell you all about Baltic Sea amber in Poland and why everyone wants a piece.
As you can guess from the name, Baltic Sea amber is a type of jewelry that comes from Northern Europe. It's also known as the "gold of the north," as it's highly coveted for its breathtaking looks.
These pieces of beautiful amber come from tree resin that dripped out over 45 million years ago, which places it in the Eocene Epoch. There were many dinosaurs, flora, and fauna on the earth at this point; when you have Baltic Sea amber in your hands, you have a literal piece of history!
For those of you who are interested in the science part of Baltic Sea amber, this section's for you.
All amber "stones" take on a yellow-orange color, although some may be darker or lighter than the rest, depending on how old they are and where they're from. Some very rare pieces of amber may be tinged red or blue.
Most pieces are opaque. However, some are see-through, which means if any insects were trapped in the resin, you can get some very unique and beautiful pieces of preserved life.
79% of this amber is made of carbon; 10.5% is hydrogen, and 10.5% of oxygen. On the Mohs Hardness Scale, it measures at 2.0 to 2.5, which is very soft when compared to diamond, which ranks at a hardness level of 10.
Within Baltic Sea amber are over 40 compounds. These include terpenes, organic acids, and polyether. You'll also find iron, potassium, and sodium.
One important compound you'll find is succinic acid. It's a promising compound that can help us be "greener."
There are alternative communities that claim succinic acid has healing properties, which is why you'll find it in things like baby teething necklaces. However, there's not much strong evidence that supports this claim, besides the fact that succinic acid has some anti-inflammatory properties.
Another interesting fact about Baltic Sea amber is when you put it into salt water, it'll float. However, it'll sink if you put it in fresh water.
As we've said above, Baltic Sea amber was formed over 45 million years ago. Scientists think this amber comes from pine trees in Scandanavia and the surrounding areas.
During the Eocene Epoch, when the weather started getting warmer and warmer, this caused the pine trees to release a higher amount of their resin. This is why we see a large amount of Baltic Sea amber nowadays. Often, you'll see it wash up on the shores of the Baltic Sea coasts.
Obviously, people in ancient times found Baltic Sea amber extremely beautiful and made jewelry out of it. For example, the people from the Paleolithic Era (also known as the Old Stone Age) made amulets out of this stone.
In fact, the oldest workshops for amber were found in Gdansk, which is a coastal city in Poland. The amber pieces found there date back to over 6,000 years ago, which is pretty impressive!
Poland amber was made into shapes of animals and solar symbols, as back then, the source was unknown. This made this "stone" very precious.
To help explain where this amber came from, the people of Poland attributed it to the sea goddess Jurata. Another god, Perkun, found out she was having an affair with a human. As a result, he completely broke her sea palace and killed her with a lightning bold, and the pieces of the palace floated up onto the Baltic shores.
Another legend comes from the Kurpie region of Poland. According to this myth, there were 40 days of continuous rain, which flooded the lands. The residents cried over their harsh fate, and their tears became the Baltic Sea amber when they touched the flood water.
While it seems like Baltic Sea amber is very easy to get a hold of, unfortunately, there's only a limited supply of it. Remember: it's taken literally millions of years for these unique pieces to form.
Because of this, we'll eventually hit a point where Baltic Sea amber is limited, or even completely depleted from Earth. This is why we must be very conscious of how we harvest it, so there's as little waste as possible.
Currently, the market is pretty healthy, which means you can get your hands on some Baltic Sea amber for affordable prices. But considering it'll eventually become scarce or run out one day, this means prices can skyrocket in the future. So getting a piece or two would be a wise investment.
As you can see, Baltic Sea amber is a type of jewelry that's very unique and is something you can treasure for a lifetime. Of course, the fact that there's a limited supply in the world gives Baltic amber even more worth. So if you can get your hands on it, definitely don't let the opportunity pass you by!
Luckily, we'll be stocking Polish amber very soon. But in the meantime, why don't you check out our selection of funny Polish t-shirts? They're sure to give your family and friends a laugh