Among the most popular jewelry in Latvia, is jewelry designed with amber. Amber has been used by jewelry designers in creating pendants, broaches, earrings, bracelets, and rings. I remember that for a while my mother wore no other jewelry except the pieces she had made with amber because they came from her homeland Latvia. Here in Latvia and other places in Europe tourists like to purchase jewelry and other items made with amber because they cannot purchase such items where they live.
The name amber is derived from the Arabic ambergis, referring to an animal substance quite distant from yellow amber. Golden or yellowish amber is the kind that is preferred for making jewelry. My favorite kind is amber the color of golden honey. The Persian word kahroba is used to refer to true amber and it means “that which attracts straw”. The reason for this is that amber has the power to give off an electric charge through friction.
Amber has been discovered at Neolithic sites but its origin is along the shores of the Baltic Sea. The Teutonic Knights held control over amber production in Europe during the 15th century. They forbid anyone who was unauthorized to collect amber from the beaches that lay along the Baltic coastline. Anyone who broke the ordinance was put to death.
Amber forms a hard resin and you can discover preserved plant structures, remains of various insects, spiders and other kinds of small organisms in the amber. Collectors prefer this kind of amber to amber which is clear and golden without any substances.
Amber resin has also been known to form in stalactites and drop forms. Golden yellow amber is native to the Baltic shores while in the Dominican Republic a type of amber has been discovered known as Blue Amber. Even though you can find amber along the shore of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea the largest amber-producing country is the promontory of Sambia which is now part of Russia. Waves cast up amber pieces from the floor of the sea and it collects at ebb-tide. Those who search for amber make use of nets attached to long poles. They pull in seaweed in which amber pieces are tangled up. Amber has also been found between boulders in the sea and divers have been known to collect amber from much deeper waters.