Das Geheimnis des Bernsteins

The Mystery of Amber

From light yellow to dark brown and very rarely from almost white to almost black. These are the color gradations of amber. The stone, which is not a stone but a fossil hardened resin , formed around 50 million years ago. Exactly how, is still speculated today. Most likely in the so-called Amber Forest , which must have stretched across all of eastern Scandinavia . It is believed that the forests were destroyed by a storm, climate change or some other force of nature. The trees were deposited in deep sediment layers by being transported by water and ice, where they became amber with their resin from sand and rock layers over millions of years under the exclusion of air and great pressure.

The name of amber is derived from the Low German « Böresteen » (burning stone) and « börnen » (to burn), which describes the property of being easily flammable. This is based on its composition of various organic substances (carbon, oxygen, hydrogen). When burned, it produces an odor similar to incense, which is why priests have often used it as a substitute. Another typical characteristic of amber is that when it is rubbed against wool or silk, it becomes electrically charged and attracts small pieces of paper.
Amber has so far been found on almost every continent (except Antarctica), but only a few localities are exploitable or of economic importance. In addition to Baltic amber, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Lebanon, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Ukraine are considered to be particularly attractive sites.

Many art and jewelry items were made of amber. Probably the most famous art object is the Amber Room, which has been lost since World War II.
For more than 4500 years it has also been valued as a commodity, for example on the amber route.
While gold has always had the status of very valuable, amber has only recently caught up. In the last five years the price has increased over 600% ! In China in particular, there is a veritable run around the fossil resin. Whether hoarded as a gemstone or as an investment, the color yellow is considered wealth in Asia and a symbol of luck par excellence in China. A stone for “older generations” has long been passe. Amber is more popular than ever!

The past locked in the golden resin - a journey through time into the geological past.

Of course, inclusions in the amber are particularly fascinating.

Insects were attracted to the sweet tree sap and stuck to the sap. This creates the impression of a last snapshot of the eventful life. But parts of plants were also included in the amber and conserved for millions of years. Today they are scientifically particularly valuable testimonies of that time.

Amber is one of the softest and lightest materials used in jewelry making. On average, the amber is between 5 and 50 million years old .

Amber is a legendary material . Healing powers have always been attributed to it and it is used as a medicine. It is also considered a protective stone and can promote well-being. Amber also provides calm and motivation. A material that is ancient, mysterious, enigmatic and simply beautiful to touch, look at and wear.

We are delighted with the wonderful earth tones, which are really popular again this autumn, and with the great wearing comfort of the amber.

Maybe there are protective and magical powers that favor our well-being?

Author: Nicole Braun, goldsmith from the Steinlin team

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