Baltic Amber - What is it?
So what is Baltic Amber made of?
Well it can very depending on the botanical source. Baltic Amber contains between 3-8% succinic acid belived to form fermentation of the cellulose contained within tree resin. Composition can look like this: carbon 67-68%, hydrogen 8-11%, oxygen 15% and sulfur 0-0.4%. There is many forums and blogs claiming that Baltic Amber is resin from pine trees however scientific studies have shown this not hte case.
Yes it most definately can come from t he resin in pine trees but it is not limited to that specific variety of tree. In the late 19th century Germans, Swedes and Swiss Scientists also found succinic acid and bornel among other compunds in Amber.
Of more modern study based on Beck and heuber's study of Baltic Amber scientisits now belive Baltic Amber to have its origins in araucarian trees. They don't actually exist today but is closely related to Agathis Australis or the Kauri pine found in New Zealand. This can somewhat explain recent finding of amber in Australia although this is not yet commercially available.
Baltic Amber is the resin of the tree this is important to remember as it is not tree sap. The resin is the tree's defense mechanism agaisnt disease and bacteria. It also protects the tree against boring insects and storm damage.
History of Baltic Amber
The history of Baltic Amber has caused much discussion, here is a brief history of documented Baltic Amber. It is said that it was first used by Palaelliyhic man in Austria approx 45000-12000BC. There is also some signs that the Nesolithic people used it as well with carvings of animals and moon phases in some ancient pieces of Baltic Amber. It was also these people that started using it for jewellery and decorative purposes and it was only used by the richer of that society.
Towards the end of the eighth century BC the Greeks were using Baltic Amber for inlay work in their gold and wood. The Romans started using it approx 1st Century BC.
The Baltic region is home to the largest deposits of Baltic Amber and in particular Lithuania have adopted it as their own. Baltic Amber has been used down through time by many people from many countries but today the best quality of Baltic Amber is always found in the Baltic Region of Lithuania.
The Benefits of Baltic Amber
There are many allegations concerning Baltic Amber and its healing abilities, some are pure guess work some have some real merit, so lets have a closer look.
Amber is chemically named Succinite. It contains on average 4-8% succinic acid a natural componnet of plant and animal tissues. Amber beads have been put on babies for centuries through Europe to help with the pain of teething and to make teeth grow stronger. This is still done today and many parents swear by it.
So what is it good for besides teething. Here we go....
- stimulates the nervous system
- regulates the work of kidneys and intestines
- anti inflammatory and antitoxic agent
- destroys free radicals and bacteria
- disinfectant properties
- rheumatic and asthmatic ailments
- skin ulcerations and irritations (eczema)
- thyroid conditions
There is alot but most of them break down into either analgesic (pain relieving) or electrical corrections. Chinese have been using Amber as well in traditional medicine for ailments such as energy and balance, drawing out negative energy from the body, spine and brain ailments and arthritis and headaches. Chinese use seems to break down basically to electrical conditions. this makes sense then that in today's over the top electrical world that Baltic Amber can help.
Amber Teething Necklaces - Safety Features
Individually Knotted Beads - With the popularity of Amber teething Necklaces on the rapid incline it also brings out the detractors saying they are not safe etc. There are some simple rules when purchasing one of these necklaces and first up is that every single bead on the necklace should be individually knotted. this means that if the necklace should happen to break you would only ever lose one bead not the whole necklace. Necklaces that are not individually knotted should always be avoided.
Cotton not silk threads - We would recommend only buying Amber Teething Necklaces that are threaded on cotton and not silk. Silk has a much higher breaking strain than cotton and it is important that the necklace isnt too strong so that if baby does get caught on something either the clasp lets go or the thread breaks.
Plastic Screw Clasps - Another very important safety feature is the clasp for joining the Amber Necklace. It should always be the plastic colour coded clasps never metal or sterling silver. The plastic screw clasp is designed so that if enough pressure is applied to the thread will pop and pull apart. Also not being metal is important as many babies have allergies to different types of metals.
Shorter lengths - While as adults we like to have longer necklaces this is not a good idea with Amber Teething Necklaces. Amber Necklaces are desinged to be worn and not sucked on or chewed on. As such the necklace should be short enough that your baby can't get any of the beads in their mouth.
Authenticity certificates have become more important ass Baltic Amber has gained more popularity. But as with all things, knowing a genuine Authenticity Certificate from a fake is not always easy.
First off there is a growing trend of sellers who are simply self authenticating their Amber. Printing their own labels and handwriting fake serial numbers on them.
Another claim by one company is that they are the governing body for baltic Amber Worldwide, they are fraudsters and are currently being investigated by ACCC for this conduct.
So how do we know a genuine certificate from a fake. Authenticity Certificates should always come from the manufacturerand bear their stamp. Our certificate is supplied to us from our supplier who has received their certificate from the manufacturer in Lithuania, who are curretn members of the Palanga Guild of Master Artisans. beware of fake and handwritten certificates.