Occurences Of Amber

by Manisha G

baltic-amber-stoneThe principal source of amber is in the Baltic Sea along the shores of Lithuania near Konigsberg. There are two sources of amber in the district : the sea amber, which has been washed up on the shore by wave action; and the pit amber obtained by open-pit mining for the amber drops (block amber) in the Oligocene deposits of glauconite sand. The sea amber, which has been washed out from the sea bed, is, owing to the low density of the material carried by tides and currents for considerable distances. Such amber may therefore be found on all the shores of the Baltic Sea, and may even be found on the shores of Norway and Denmark. It has even drifted on the shores of the English east coasts and as far south as the Isle of Thanet.

The two main sources of amber on the market today are the Baltic states and the Dominican Republic. Amber from the Baltic states is older, and therefore preferred on the market compared to Dominican amber.

The largest mine in the Baltic region is in Russia, west of Kaliningrad.

Baltic amber is also found in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and occasionally washed up on the shores of the Baltic Sea as far away as Denmark, Norway, and England.

Although a quantity of commercial amber comes from the Baltic deposits, there are other sources of material though often of a slightly different chemical composition. One of these is the Myanmar (Burmese) variety. This amber is very much redder in colour than the Baltic variety; it is found near Myitkyina in the valley of the Hlukong, a tributary of the Chindwin river, and not far from the jadeite mines. The amber differs from the Baltic variety in being harder and denser and is often found to contain included calcite. The Mayanmar amber is obtained from a clayey soil.

Along the Simeto river, near Catania in Sicily, is found an amber of a reddish brown colour and fluorescent (green) in appearance. At several places in Romania is found an amber which is said to contain less succinic acid and more hydrogen sulphide. The occurrences are somewhat wide¬≠spread in the country, the most important localities being in the province of Muntenia near Buzau. This amber has SG between 1.05 and 1.123 and a hardness of 2 to 2.5 on Moh’s scale, varies in colour between yellow, brownish-green, brown, green and blue, and shows a striking fluorescence.

As mentioned above amber has been found in consid¬≠erable quantities in the Dominican Republic, and this is currently one of the world’s principal amber sources. There are a number of localities which produce amber, and the material varies in age depending upon its original sources. Care has to be exercised with this material as some localities produce more recent resins, which have to be regarded merely as varieties of copal. Many pieces of Dominican amber are full of organic debris, including a wide range of insects and plants; there can substantially affect the external colour of the material, and a bluish hue is the most common, followed by greenish and purplish.

Amber of a very similar appearance to Dominican material has been known from the Chiapas state of Mexico since the beginning of the century. A deep red variety is found in small pieces and is very similar to the red amber from Myanmar. The majority of Mexican amber is usually clear and has few inclusions.

Mention may be made of other deposits in the north American continent. A variety of amber is found around the south-western margin of Cedar Lake, Manitoba, Canada; and there is a small deposit recorded from the Eocene beds on the north-east side of the Simi Valley in Ventura Country, California. Amber has also been found in Pitt Country, North Carolina; Coffee Bluff on Tennessee river in northern Hardin Country, near Gifford, Hot Springs Country, Arkansas; Wando river, South Carolina; and at several places in Maryland New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Wyoming and Colorado.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: