Baltic amber is a natural gemstone that varies greatly in color. Pieces can be varying shades of yellow and orange, even white. Sometimes, though rarely, pieces are green or blue. Baltic amber is a common gemstone used in Hawaiian gifts and Hawaiian jewelry not only for its beauty but because it has healing properties as well.
What is Baltic Amber?
Amber is fossilized tree resin from ancient forests. Before we go any further, let’s bust a common misconception. Tree resin and tree sap are not the same things. All trees produce sap, but the trees that produce both sap and resin are in the Pinaceae family of trees. Examples are fir, cedar, and pine trees. Resin is a thick, tacky substance produced by trees, and scientists still debate its purpose. Some believe it’s a form of waste, while others believe it is a means of protecting the tree against disease and infection.
Over millions of years, tree resin gets buried and fossilizes naturally through the process of polymerization. We don’t know exactly how long this process takes, but most amber is within sedimentary rocks that date back thirty to ninety million years ago.
The Baltic region, or countries that surround the Baltic sea, including Denmark, Finland, and Germany, is home to the largest deposit of amber known to man. Amber found in this region is known as Baltic amber, and it dates back forty-four million years. Baltic amber is sometimes referred to as succinite because it contains anywhere from three to eight percent succinic acid.
Succinic acid is a substance with many different uses, and it is part of what makes Hawaiian gifts and Hawaiian jewelry that contain Baltic amber so special.
Five Reasons You Will Love Baltic Amber
Beauty aside, because that’s a given, here are some reasons Hawaiian jewelry with Baltic amber makes the perfect Hawaiian gift.
- One of a kind - No two pieces of Baltic amber within Hawaiian jewelry are the same. Much like each human you know and love, no two trees are exactly alike. This wonderful uniqueness is what makes humans so incredible, and it’s what makes Baltic amber a creative, meaningful Hawaiian gift. Because amber is fossilized tree resin, no two pieces are the same. When you give a loved one a gift of Baltic amber, like this Baltic amber and sterling silver pendant, you’re giving them a Hawaiian gift that’s as unique as they are.
- Anti-inflammatory properties - as previously mentioned, Baltic amber contains anywhere from three to eight percent succinic acid. Succinic acid occurs naturally in plant and animal tissue and is involved in several chemical processes that take place in the human body. In Baltic amber, the highest content of succinic acid is in the outer layer, called the amber cortex. When you wear Hawaiian jewelry with Baltic amber, the warmth from your body heats the stone, and trace oils from the succinic acid are absorbed into your skin. The oil enters your bloodstream and provides your body with anti-inflammatory properties. For Hawaiian jewelry that provides arthritic pain relief to the hands and wrists, try a bracelet like this milky Baltic amber and sterling silver bracelet.
- Eases headaches - The succinic acid found in Baltic amber has the ability to reduce headache pain as well. Succinic acid absorbed through the skin travels through the bloodstream to relieve headaches and can even offer some relief from chronic migraines. A gift of Hawaiian jewelry worn around the neck, like this faceted Baltic amber necklace, will provide the most relief for pain felt in the head or neck.
- Reduces anxiety - Natural compounds in Baltic amber reduce symptoms of anxiety and are often used as powerful meditation tools, and massage stones. For beautiful Hawaiian jewelry that can double as a meditation tool, look for a crystal like this Baltic amber and crystal pendant.
- Relieves congestion - The powerful anti-inflammatory benefits in Baltic amber can also relieve congestion by reducing inflammation in the sinuses. Wear Hawaiian jewelry with a Baltic amber pendant, like this one, around your neck, or even place it directly on your forehead or cheeks while laying down to get faster relief.
People Baltic Amber Can Help
Hawaiian gifts featuring Baltic amber make great gifts for just about anyone that comes to your mind. The beauty of a piece of Hawaiian jewelry made with amber is never overstated. But people that can benefit greatly from the healing qualities that a Hawaiian gift with Baltic amber can provide include:
- Teething babies - Babies can benefit from wearing teething necklaces like this one made from Baltic amber They’re very popular with moms, as the succinic acid can provide relief to sore gums. They make great Hawaiian gifts for a new mommy, but be sure to remind her that the necklace needs to be removed when the baby sleeps or is unattended.
- Pregnant women (always consult your doctor) - Pregnancy can cause a wide array of strange symptoms. One of the lesser-known, but annoying symptoms, is chronic congestion and anxiety. A Baltic amber necklace would make a thoughtful Hawaiian gift for an expecting mother at a baby shower. It might just have the mother-to-be saying, “THANK YOU Baltic amber for providing natural relief!”
- People that suffer from anxiety - In combination with other anxiety treatments discussed with a doctor, Baltic amber makes a sweet Hawaiian gift that could provide a person with some added relief through a natural means.
- People that suffer from arthritis - Hawaiian jewelry made with Baltic amber, worn close to the affected area, can provide a person that suffers from arthritis with some natural pain relief. Tell your loved one you care about their pain with a thoughtful Hawaiian gift.
- People that get headaches, migraines, or unexplained pain - Baltic ambers powerful healing properties can provide some relief and make a super thoughtful Hawaiian gift to a loved one that suffers from chronic pain.
- People that enjoy the practice of meditation. If you know a yogi or someone that just enjoys the calm that meditation can provide, a piece of Baltic amber could be the best Hawaiian gift they’ve ever received.
How to Spot Fake Baltic Amber
As you can see, Baltic amber is a precious material that offers plenty of healing properties. Because of this, and the fact that Baltic amber only comes from a specific location, there are a lot of alternative materials used to imitate genuine Baltic amber. These alternatives can be equally beautiful and hard to distinguish from the real thing. But if you are giving a Hawaiian gift to someone you love you for the added benefit of its healing properties, you want to be sure to give them a real piece. Unfortunately, there are people out there who will try to sell you a fake Hawaiian gift while claiming it’s real.
Fake Baltic amber is made from many different materials. Fake pieces are widely used in Hawaiian gifts. Some of the materials used to imitate this precious gemstone include casein, glass, or plastic. Here are some at-home tests to try to be sure that your Baltic amber is the real deal.
- Rubbing - Real Baltic amber will leave an oily residue behind after quickly rubbing on your skin for several seconds. It also has an electromagnetic charge. So when rubbed quickly, real Baltic amber will attract things like your hair or dust.
- Saltwater - in a solution made of warm water and salt (2:1), drop in your Baltic amber. If it’s real, it will float. Imitators are generally denser and will sink to the bottom of your glass. Be sure to rinse and dry your gemstone when you’re finished.
How to Care for Baltic Amber
Whether you’re purchasing a beautiful piece of Hawaiian jewelry for yourself, or as a meaningful Hawaiian gift for a loved one, make sure you know how to care for it properly. Here are some tips to keep your Hawaiian jewelry looking its best.
- Always remove your Hawaiian jewelry before showering or bathing. Changes in temperature and product buildup from soap and shampoo products can tarnish the look of your Baltic amber.
- Apply your hair products like hair spray and other body sprays before you put your Hawaiian jewelry back on. Certain chemicals can coat the Baltic amber, turning it white, and it is unfortunately permanent.
- Avoid over-heating Baltic amber, and keep your Hawaiian jewelry out of the direct sun.
- Because Baltic amber is very old tree resin, it is likely to crack if your Hawaiian jewelry gets exposed to a sudden and severe temperature change. For example, if you reach in an oven to remove something while wearing a ring, then wash your hand in cool water.
- Store your Hawaiian gift of Baltic amber in its own soft pouch to avoid damage from other pieces of jewelry.
- Clean your Baltic amber using a soft, damp cloth. Dry it thoroughly, and polish your Hawaiian jewelry with clear olive oil. Wipe away excess oil, and rub gently with a clean, soft cloth.
Baltic amber is a very soft gemstone. It has a Mohs Hardness Value of just 2.5. While you have to be very careful and treat your amber jewelry pieces with great care, if you follow our tips, your Hawaiian jewelry will be looking its best for many years to come.
The Legend of Baltic Amber
We have taught you what Baltic amber is, and why we love it so much for Hawaiian gifts and Hawaiian jewelry. We’ve suggested a variety of people that might love to receive some genuine Baltic amber as a Hawaiian gift. We’ve warned you about imposters, taught you how to distinguish real from phony, and how to care for your new precious gemstone properly. Now, let us share with you the Lithuanian legend that answers the question as to why the Baltic region is home to so much of this incredible, healing amber.
The god of thunder, Perkunas, was father to a beautiful goddess named Jurate. Jurate was a mermaid and the queen of the sea. She was to be married to the god of the earth and sea, Patrimpas. Jurate lived in a palace made entirely of Baltic amber, located at the bottom of the Baltic sea, where she ruled over all marine life and maintained the peace and balance in the ocean.
Kastytis was a human and a talented fisherman. He caught so many fish that Jurate became aware, and increasingly agitated by his disturbance to the equilibrium of her ocean that she worked hard to maintain. Jurate sent handmaids to forbid Kastytis from fishing in her kingdom anymore. When he refused to stop, Jurate went to find him herself.
When Jurate laid eyes on the mortal, her anger dissipated, and she fell madly in love with him. The feeling was mutual and the two fell hopelessly in love. Kastytis moved into Jurate’s palace made of Baltic amber.
When Jurate’s father, Perkunas, caught wind of their romance, he was enraged. His daughter was a goddess and had already promised to marry another god. A god is far superior to a mere mortal. As punishment, Perkunas destroyed Jurate’s amber palace with lightning bolts and killed Kastytis in the process. Jurate was trapped amongst the rubble and became imprisoned for all of eternity.
Baltic amber that washes up on the shores of the Baltic sea is said to be the remnants of Jurate’s beautiful palace, smashed into pieces. The pieces of Baltic amber that are tear-shaped are said to be the rarest and most valuable, as they are the tears of the queen of the sea, herself.
Little Known Facts About Baltic Amber
- Baltic amber has been appreciated for its beauty and used in jewelry since at least 11000 B.C.
- There are 265 identified shades of Baltic amber.
- Real amber is warm to the touch, unlike most other gemstones and crystals.
- Thanks to Baltic amber, scientists have discovered many extinct species. Plenty of bugs were trapped in the sticky resin, fossilized, and preserved forever.
Whaler’s Locker is Your Home for Baltic Amber
At Whaler’s Locker, we are believers in the beauty and the healing properties that Baltic amber offers. We have a wide selection of Hawaiian gifts and Hawaiian jewelry at a variety of price points, so there is truly an option for everyone. We only use genuine Baltic amber so that you or your loved one can wear an authentic piece of natural history. Don’t forget we offer free shipping with purchases over fifty U.S. dollars!