Łukasz Stafiej (www.lstafiej.pl)

Amber – woman’s best friend

Justyna Michalkiewicz - Waloszek
10.03.2020

It is said that women’s best friends are diamonds. Amber can boldly compete for this position. Warm colour, subtle gloss and a mystery concealed within each nugget are all behind the success of this noble material. Amber is said to be as beautiful as it is magical. What is its secret?

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History enchanted in a golden nugget

Amber is an extremely versatile material. It is gorgeous as the main element of jewellery or interior design. It adds warmth, elegance and class. Many people appreciate its health benefits, drinking amber tinctures, using amber cosmetics, and even supporting the treatment of such ailments as rheumatism or hypertension. For thousands of years, amber has also been attributed with such properties as attracting success and even prolonging youth.

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However, the greatest value of amber comes with knowledge of its history. In order to understand how it was created, we have to go back about 40 million years to the Middle Paleogene period. In the place where the Baltic Sea is today, stretched vegetation that is referred to as the amber forest. Coniferous trees that dominated the area in the past started to secrete resin intensively,  most probably due to excessive volcanic eruptions. The phenomenon was supposed to serve as protective barrier against the Earth’s atmosphere, and at the same time protection of damaged parts of trees. The resin was dripping from the inside of trees and then set into solid form, often trapping insects or plant fragments inside. This is why amber is said to “smuggle in” the memories of old times, and every nugget is a mystery. Moreover, it is a graceful and artistic material to work with. So not only historians, but also jewellers and fashion designers all over the world have come to love it.

The amber pillar of Pomorskie

Strolling down the centre of Gdańsk in the summer season proves how important amber is for this city, and the region. Długa, Mariacka and Długie Pobrzeże streets are full of stands with amber merchandise: necklaces, rings, earrings and even sculptures.

With a bit of luck, there is a chance to watch amber craftsmen at work, or purchase beautiful amber jewellery straight from world-renowned,  Pomeranian artists: Ostrowski Design, Filimoniuk Design or Points of View Anna Kamińska.

In St. Brigid’s Basilica in Gdańsk there is an astonishing, 12-metre high amber altar. And if you are interested in history, don’t hesitate to visit the Amber Museum in Gdańsk that holds many interesting exhibitions and showcases unique, amber pieces of art.

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In addition, every year Gdańsk hosts the international amber fair. Amberif attract merchants, amber aficionados and jewellers from all over the world. This year, the event has been postponed from March and will take place 26-29 August.

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