Amber is fossilised tree resin dating back to around 45 million years ago. At the time, the temperature in the Baltic region was much hotter and more humid than it is today and the trees excreted resin which hardened in the air. Eventually, the rivers washed the amber into an ancient sea, which is now an Amber deposit.
Known as a “window to the past” because of its composition, amber contains parts of insects, as well as leaves, pollen, and spores. It comes in a variety of different colours depending on which type of tree it originally came from.
Amber was one of the first commercially traded products with evidence going back to the Paleolithic era. From then on it was highly prized by the Celts and later the Romans as a valuable trading commodity. It is said that a piece of amber sculpture was worth more than a human slave in Roman times. Because of trade routes the use of amber spread throughout Europe and was used for ornaments, sculptures, jewellery as well as charms for good luck and good health.
In those days there was a lot of confusion about what amber was made of. Some thought it was a stone, while others had theories ranging from it being fossilised honey to hardened oils. Others thought that it had supernatural sources which led to people believing that it had magical properties.
These days amber is mined on an industrial scale in the Baltic region of Europe. Baltic amber is renowned as the best quality amber due to its high quantity of succinic acid which is its main healing ingredient. It’s shipped across the world and used for ailments like Arthritis, stress and teething pain.