Amber Locations in the Middle Ages and today


The largest occurrences are in Samland, especially Palmniken, today Jarntarny / Russia


amber jantarny

on the western coast of the former East Prussia Samland, west of Königsberg, today Kaliningrad / Russia. The area covers approximately 300 square kilometres.
For many years, the amber was found on the beach. If the Baltic Sea was turbulent, people have picked up the amber on the beach in the morning. Amber is in fact lighten than the salty water of the Baltic Sea, and was therefore washed up on the beach. Even today we find even smaller pieces on the beach of the Baltic Sea. Until 1945 the only amber mine in the world, the Königsberg / Prussian
Mining and huts AG, amber factory, Königsberg. Until 1945 there was mined annually 400,000 kg of amber. People in Samland / Prussian have called the amber  also as "god’s tears" or "Succinit", which comes from the pine trees, where the resin was produced (pinus succinifera). Today, most of the amber is coming from the so-called blue earth, up to 10 kilometres inbound. He is recovered in deep within 50 to 80 meters. The
blue earth is covered by 9 meters "amber containing" clay. It is recovered by diggers and even has to be blown up. For the jewellery only 15% of the recovered amber is suitable.

The greater part is fragile;
it is used for the Insulator as amber has a low conductivity.
In the Middle Ages the amber was only found on the beach.
Many fishermen made "amber fishing" for their second profession.
After every storm, huge "tangle masses" were being pushed out of the Baltic Sea to the coast. In these plant residues the swollen amber hid. The sea was stabbed with long forked poles to free the amber from the plants.



The amber fisherman, who wanted to take the amber home, was hung on the gallows (see figure above).
The poet Wilhelm Runge reported that many gallows with "suspended" stood along the Baltic Sea as a daunting example. He also writes that the Baltic Sea was very busy in 1668, because hundreds of boats fished the amber side by side. Today, the amber is also found in, Żarnowiec / Poland, about 10 km from the coast in the woods or in meadows and it is pumped with high pressure from the earth on a water pipe.

amber jarntarny - russia

In Königsberg / Prussia, today Jarntarny / Russia is the only amber factory in the world.
Formerly: "Prussian amber factory" Königsberg.
Until 1945, 400,000 kg of amber was transported every year.


On the Baltic coast so called. "amber stabbers" and "amber fishermen" were employed.
Already in 1774, divers were used to search for amber.



Flushing of amber in Gdansk / Poland
In Gdansk amber has a long tradition. The deposits documented give hope for further discoveries. In the area of "Stogi - Wislinka, Sobieszewska" ocean ground with amber was stranded millions of years ago, probably because of glaciers and ice floes. Up to one kilometre new ground is created in this way. But the recovery is very exhausting:

(1) First, long poles are stabbed into the ground around the meadow to encounter any resistors (amber). If this is the case, the other manufacturing processes take place.
(2) There are placed two holes (75-80 mm diameter) at a distance of 3-4 meters and 1 meter deep.
(3) With about 6 Atü pressure, water is pumped now into one of the holes.
On the opposite side the mud and - if available – the ambers come out.
(4) Large sieves take the mud and the ejected ambers.
(5) Then the sludge comes into a tub of salt water. The small pieces of wood and amber come to the surface. They are lighter than salt water because the specific weight of amber and wood pieces amounts 1.08 to 1.10.
(6) The ambers are roughly grouped in four sizes. There are about 25% pea, 25% hazelnut, 30%walnut and 20% medium size potato found.

Amber exists, besides of the Baltic States (90%) also in Sicily, Lebanon, Dominican Republic, Russia, China, Burma, Canada, New Jersey, Mexico and Germany in the area near Bitterfeld.




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