Amber is the fossilised resin of pine trees that grew between 30 and 90 million years ago (although you do find amber much older than this). Although not actually mineralised, it is sometimes considered and used as a gemstone. Amber comes from a number of places around the world, but we get ours from the Baltic deposits. Having Lithuanian, Latvian and Russian speaking team members certainly helps us with finding and buying good amber. Light and easy to work, Amber jewellery was popular from the stone age, amongst the ancient Egyptians and naturally the Greeks (who called it Elektron).

Ovid wrote that when Phaethon, a son of Helios, convinced his father to allow him to drive the chariot of the sun through the heavens for a day, he steered too close to the earth, scorching it. To save mankind, Zeus struck Phaethon with a thunderbolt and he died, plunging out of the sky. His mother and sister turned into trees in their grief but still mourned him. Their tears, dried by the sun, are amber.

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