Amber carves relatively easily and comes in a variety of warm colours, It is also warm . It all makes amber an excellent choice for jevellery worn against the skin, for example necklaces.
Baltic amber has exceptionally rich history of trade, craftsmen and presence in mythology.
Baltic amber has origins in the resin of trees in the pine family, most probably in the genera Pseudolarix.
The Samland Peninsula has produced 90% of the amber in Europe. There, for at least ten millennia amber has been harvested on the beaches, especially after storms.
In Humboldt Museum in Berlin one of the biggest pieces is on display, weighting 21.5 pounds. It was discovered in 1890.
The beaches were main source of amber, until, in the middle of nineteenth century, the massive scale mining of amber begun. The famous Palmnicken mine was opened in 1875, where hundreds of man, woman and children worked on extraction of amber. By 1930 the extraction was mechanized. Palmnicken is still the most prolific amber mine in the world.
Almost 90% of Baltic amber had high concentration of succinic acid, up to 8%. Gedanite, stantienite or beckeritw are rarer Baltic ambers that lack succinic acid.
The amber containing succinic acid is called succinite.There are various classes of it, distinguished by the size of bubbles it contains. A froth of large bubbles fives foamy amber, white to yellowish opaque. Amber with medium size bubbles is called flom.
Some ambers are opaque and others are not, and it is not well understood why. The differences in transparency and succinic content may come from the origins from different trees.
Among the causes of resin production are insect attacks or wounds, for example from a snapped tree limb. Trees produce resin to seal wounds. In this process small insects may become mired in the resin, eventually creating amber inclusions.
Interesting inclussions may be found in many pieces of amber. In fact, there are tens od thousands fossiliferous pieces in collections of museums around the worls: in Koningsberg, Harvard, Stuttgart.
There are hundreds of deposits of amber in the world, you can read about them here.