Amber is a fossilized resin made from a species of Pine trees named ‘Pinus Succinisera’ which grew over 45 million years sgo. They were primarily found in the Baltic region in the European mainland. Amber is also found in Malaysia, England, Russia, Sicily, Germany, North America, Rumania, Myanmar and the Dominican Republic.
The Germans called amber by the name of ‘Bernstein’, due to the sweet smell it emitted when burnt. Since amber gave off static electricity when it was rubbed, the Greeks called it ‘Elektron’. Amber is known as ‘Kerba’ in the local markets in India.
In the Western Hemisphere, there are rich deposits of amber found in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the state of New Jersey. An especially rich bed of amber in New Jersey has yielded over 100 previously unknown extinct Cretaceous species dating back as much as 94 million years.
The Baltic area still remains the most important source of amber. Rich deposits of amber are found particularly in Königsberg, which was previously in East Prussia, and now is known as Kaliningrad (which, until recently was a part of USSR).
The variety of amber originating from this area is known as ‘Succinite’. It is found here at two sources: from the sea and by mining. The sea amber from this area is easily carried by the sea, and can also be found in all parts of the Baltic coast, even as far away as Norway, Denmark and the east coast of Britain.
Amber found in Sicily, along the Simeto River near Catania is reddish brown, fluorescent, and is known as ‘Simetite’. ‘Roumanite’ is a variety of amber found in Romania, and it can be quite variable in color. Amber found at Gdansk or Danzig is known as ‘Gedanite’. This is softer and lighter than most other amber stones. Many small deposits of amber are found across the USA.
In the Russian Baltic Region, west of Kaliningrad, you can find the largest mine. Baltic amber is found in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia, and occasionally washed up on the shores of the Baltic Sea as far away as Denmark, Norway, and England. Canada, Germany, Romania, Mexico, Sicily, Lebanon, and Myanmar (Burma) are the other places where Amber is found.
Aftim Acra mined amber in the moountains of Lebanon and he has a large collection of amber pieces that contain over 700 different insects, moths, termites, caterpillars, midges, spiders and pseudo-scorpions. More than 1,000 extinct species of insects have been identified in amber.