“There’s gold in them thar trees!” Such is what the ancient Baltic civilizations, which resided along the coasts of Russia, Lithuania, and Poland, would discover about a fossilized mineral known as amber, a mineral dating back 95 million years to prehistoric days! All amber mined today, around the globe, is thirty to ninety-five million years old! Any amber found younger than that is of a softer consistency and called copal.
The Baltic region was and continues to be the source for this yellow-orange ‘sticky’ treasure that oozed from the trees and brought about the studying of the leaves, seeds, feathers, and insects that became ensnared and fossilized within, which ascertained prehistoric mankind was the first to experience this phenomenal ‘gold’
sap-like substance. The trees from which it flowed were of an Evergreen variety, called coniferous, meaning trees that produced [pine] cones. This yellow-orange amber substance meant for the tree to heal itself from the cracks and breaks nature brought to the tree. The small objects caught in the amber’s slow-moving path only one of many mysteries that intrigued the scientific community with regards this substance that would eventually be classified as a resin mineral.
This sap-like amber, a mystery to those Paleolithic cave dwellers, became the source of health, wealth and legendary stories of the ancient civilizations residing along the Baltic shoreline. Scientists came to confirm the legendary folklore of amber’s medicinal qualities, recognizing the mineral’s ability to heal inflammation in the body. The ancient civilizations learned they could polish, shape, and mold this amber for ornamental decoration, usually in the shape of a teardrop. Besides amber jewelry, this resin mineral that flowed from pines became source for creating perfumes, incense, varnishes, and lacquers and carried much weight around the globe and why there came the active search for this substance known as amber that lay buried deep beneath sand and clay in the sea where the coniferous trees had fallen, brought back to the shore only by any large storms. The global searching has revealed raw amber stones almost as large as the legendary Greek, Russian, and Lithuanian folklore repeated through the centuries to explain this ‘magical mineral mystery.’
On June 15, 2015, The House of Amber and Copenhagen Amber Museum claimed ownership of an amber stone
discovered in the Darmasraya region in West Sumatra by miners and is estimated to be 15-25 million years old weighing 47.5 kilograms, approximately 105 pounds, and setting them for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records.
In February 2017, the International Amber Association of Poland, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, reported that Joseph Fam of Singapore owns an amber stone that weighs in at 50.4 kilograms or
about 111.11 pounds.
Found on January 4, 2007, in a mining accident in Indonesia and now on display at the Palanga museum in
Lithuania is an amber stone weighing 4 kilograms, which is near to 8 pounds and Europe’s third-largest amber stone, called the Sun Stone.
In March of 2017, in the region of Kaliningrad, Russia, a large amber nugget weighing 3.2 kilograms, about 7 pounds, was unearthed from a quarry, the largest in thirty years! Russian mining efforts for amber in the region of Kaliningrad mines700 tons of amber every year and is ‘the new gold!’
The Ukraine region recorded the measure of a raw amber stone at 2562 grams, which equates to 5.5 pounds.
There is also the story, reported by CNN, December 2016 of the ‘big find’ in a smallamber ‘package’ weighing 6.5 grams (one-quarter ounce) where the tail of a dinosaur was found encased in yellow-orange amber by paleontologist Xing Lida, in Myanmar, near to the Chinese border.