The Burning Stone

Christina here. Amber necklaceThe hero of my latest book The Runes of Destiny is a Viking merchant who trades in all kinds of goods – whatever will make him the most profit. However, when I researched the type of things he would be likely to bring on a trip to Miklagarðr (Byzantium), I became fascinated by one in particular – amber. The more I read about it, the more I came to appreciate it, and I could well imagine how pleased a Viking woman would have been to receive such a gift – who wouldn’t be? It also seemed like the ideal trade goods – it was easy to transport, didn’t take up much space, and was highly sought after everywhere, plus in some places you could actually pick it up for free! (If you knew where to look).

JuanaKnown to mineralogists as succinite, the name amber apparently comes from the Latin ambrum and later anbar, the Arabic for ambergris (or grey amber), which is a completely different substance altogether. (There might have been some confusion because both materials can be found on beaches, washed up by the sea.) The Vikings called amber rav, which is the word the Danes and Norwegians still use, while in Sweden it is known as bärnsten. This means roughly “burning stone” and is because amber can actually be burned. If you do set fire to it, it gives off a pleasant scent, but it seems a great shame to me! I would much rather look at it and wear it in the form of jewellery.

20The Romans and the Greeks loved amber, and in The Odyssey, Penelope (Odysseus’ wife) was given a necklace of gold and amber beads by a suitor. In Greek, amber is called élektron (from eléctor which means “shining”) and this has given rise to the word electricity because if you rub amber against a piece of material, it becomes electrically charged. In the past, it has also had more fanciful names, such as “sea gold”, “tears of the sun” (or “Freya’s tears” in the case of the Vikings) and “soul of the tiger”. In Sweden we have a saying: “kärt barn har många namn” (literally “a dear child has many names”), which basically means that when you value someone or something, you give it lots of nicknames – I guess that is true of amber.

OblongAlthough not a proper gemstone, amber has been desired and valued for millennia, and used as something to barter with. It is easy to see why as in its polished state it is stunning. It can be see-through or opaque, but its beauty shines with a very special lustre, particularly in sunlight, and it is a material that is easy to shape and polish. Originally tree resin, most amber was fossilized 30-50 million years ago – mind-boggling really!

 

SilverIt comes in many different colours, although the most common ones are yellow, orange and brown as the name suggests – or a sort of clear whisky, syrup or honey colour. It can be reddish, black, green and milky white too, and in the Dominican Republic there is blue amber which is very rare. It turns that colour when it is struck by sunlight. Black amber can sometimes be confused with jet, which is a similar material – a type of fossilised wood from the Jurassic period. Jet is also very light and easy to carve.

There is fake amber, so to test if something is the real deal, you can rub it between your hands and it should smell sort of like pine trees. If you put it against your skin, it should also feel warm, or you could bite it gently to see if it’s soft.

Amber beach 0Although it does occur in other parts of the world, the best amber comes from around the Baltic Sea. Here it is often washed up on along the shore, especially in the southern/eastern parts around Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (also Poland and Germany). It is lighter than rocks and floats in very salty water, but not in the Baltic which is fairly brackish. There, it tends to get caught up in clumps of seaweed and washed up onto the beaches. If you are lucky, you can also find it in the south-western most part of Sweden, and when I visited there two years ago I went and had a look. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything, but I was told chances were higher after a storm or very early in the morning before other amber-hunters had been around. Winter is the best time to go and search for it as high winds are more likely. I would love to try again some time! There are mines as well, and one of the main ones is to be found in Kaliningrad in Russia.

FakeSometimes, if you are lucky, the amber has inclusions – either tiny dead insects or more often plant material, such as seeds or even leaves, that became trapped inside the resin. (I must admit I feel very sorry for them!). Even little air bubbles look pretty and adds to the attraction. Amber with anything contained inside is always more valued and therefore expensive, but when buying these you have to be careful because there are lots of fakes around. (See photo of a piece I bought that has what looks like a piece of fern – this was created by heating the amber and adding the plant, then cooling it down again). Although the creatures found preserved this way are usually very small, like ants, mosquitoes, flies and spiders, there have been the odd finds of larger animals such as frogs, scorpions and lizards (see here an article about a lizard). Those are very rare though.

FelipeI’m sure we are all familiar with the premise for the 1993 movie Jurassic Park, where the plot centres around the fact that scientists have purportedly extracted dinosaur blood from mosquitoes stuck in amber. They use this to clone living dinosaurs and then create a park filled with them. Unfortunately, this is merely fiction and can’t be done – there is no blood, in mosquitoes or otherwise. It is, however, possible for amber to preserve DNA, so perhaps in future this might be used to clone ancient animal species – who knows?

In the past, amber was thought to have magical and healing properties and could protect you against evil and illness so amulets or talismans were popular. Sometimes extracts were used for medicinal purposes too both in Europe and China.

BraceletBecause amber is fairly soft, it is easy to work with. It can be cut or carved with a knife and then shaped or polished on a lathe. Drilling can be tricky and it is best to drill from both sides to avoid the amber cracking. It is perfect for beads and rings for example and Viking women were very fond of bead necklaces, both of amber, glass and any other shiny materials.

NecklaceIf the amber is slightly opaque, it can be made clear by slowly heating it up to boiling in vegetable oil and then slowly letting it cool down again. Colour and shine in finished amber is best enhanced by rubbing it with a cloth dipped in vegetable oil. Like with natural pearls, the lustre of amber is increased by wearing it next to your skin.

The most famous use of amber is probably the so-called Amber Room which was an entire room decorated with panels of amber.

Amber room - wikimedia commons Kremlin.ru

Wikimedia Commons Kremlin.ru

It was first installed in a palace in Berlin, Germany, in the 18th century, but later given by the Prussian king to the Russian Tsar. He had it put into the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo near St Petersburg. During the second World War it was looted by the Nazis and subsequently disappeared. The original pieces were never found, but a reconstruction was constructed and installed in 2003 and can now be viewed in the palace once again. I would love to see that!

Do you like amber and/or own some? Have any of you been to St Petersburg to see that famous room? Or have you seen any other beautiful pieces, for example in museums? I am now officially hooked on this lovely material!

125 thoughts on “The Burning Stone”

  1. Christina, I LOVE amber! I always have and have some earrings and necklaces made from small pieces of low grade amber, i.e., fairly inexpensive but very pretty. *G* By far the most impressive amber I own is a gorgeous pendant the DH bought me when we did a Baltic cruise. (He likes to buy me jewelry on cruise ships. I never disagree!) My pendant is tear shaped, about an 1 1/4″ long, and set in silver around the back edges so light can come through. Gorgeous! It makes me smile just to think of it.

    Reply
  2. Christina, I LOVE amber! I always have and have some earrings and necklaces made from small pieces of low grade amber, i.e., fairly inexpensive but very pretty. *G* By far the most impressive amber I own is a gorgeous pendant the DH bought me when we did a Baltic cruise. (He likes to buy me jewelry on cruise ships. I never disagree!) My pendant is tear shaped, about an 1 1/4″ long, and set in silver around the back edges so light can come through. Gorgeous! It makes me smile just to think of it.

    Reply
  3. Christina, I LOVE amber! I always have and have some earrings and necklaces made from small pieces of low grade amber, i.e., fairly inexpensive but very pretty. *G* By far the most impressive amber I own is a gorgeous pendant the DH bought me when we did a Baltic cruise. (He likes to buy me jewelry on cruise ships. I never disagree!) My pendant is tear shaped, about an 1 1/4″ long, and set in silver around the back edges so light can come through. Gorgeous! It makes me smile just to think of it.

    Reply
  4. Christina, I LOVE amber! I always have and have some earrings and necklaces made from small pieces of low grade amber, i.e., fairly inexpensive but very pretty. *G* By far the most impressive amber I own is a gorgeous pendant the DH bought me when we did a Baltic cruise. (He likes to buy me jewelry on cruise ships. I never disagree!) My pendant is tear shaped, about an 1 1/4″ long, and set in silver around the back edges so light can come through. Gorgeous! It makes me smile just to think of it.

    Reply
  5. Christina, I LOVE amber! I always have and have some earrings and necklaces made from small pieces of low grade amber, i.e., fairly inexpensive but very pretty. *G* By far the most impressive amber I own is a gorgeous pendant the DH bought me when we did a Baltic cruise. (He likes to buy me jewelry on cruise ships. I never disagree!) My pendant is tear shaped, about an 1 1/4″ long, and set in silver around the back edges so light can come through. Gorgeous! It makes me smile just to think of it.

    Reply
  6. I love amber and can spend hours examining it. There are a couple stores where I live that specialize in gems and art made by mother nature herself. Like pearls it warms with the wearers body heat and takes on a luster. It seems to nearly come to life when it is worn. So I’m a rock hound. When I see amber my writer’s mind is captured and I’ll create a story about the life of the insect trapped inside. As much as I love it, I don’t have any.

    Reply
  7. I love amber and can spend hours examining it. There are a couple stores where I live that specialize in gems and art made by mother nature herself. Like pearls it warms with the wearers body heat and takes on a luster. It seems to nearly come to life when it is worn. So I’m a rock hound. When I see amber my writer’s mind is captured and I’ll create a story about the life of the insect trapped inside. As much as I love it, I don’t have any.

    Reply
  8. I love amber and can spend hours examining it. There are a couple stores where I live that specialize in gems and art made by mother nature herself. Like pearls it warms with the wearers body heat and takes on a luster. It seems to nearly come to life when it is worn. So I’m a rock hound. When I see amber my writer’s mind is captured and I’ll create a story about the life of the insect trapped inside. As much as I love it, I don’t have any.

    Reply
  9. I love amber and can spend hours examining it. There are a couple stores where I live that specialize in gems and art made by mother nature herself. Like pearls it warms with the wearers body heat and takes on a luster. It seems to nearly come to life when it is worn. So I’m a rock hound. When I see amber my writer’s mind is captured and I’ll create a story about the life of the insect trapped inside. As much as I love it, I don’t have any.

    Reply
  10. I love amber and can spend hours examining it. There are a couple stores where I live that specialize in gems and art made by mother nature herself. Like pearls it warms with the wearers body heat and takes on a luster. It seems to nearly come to life when it is worn. So I’m a rock hound. When I see amber my writer’s mind is captured and I’ll create a story about the life of the insect trapped inside. As much as I love it, I don’t have any.

    Reply
  11. That sounds gorgeous, Mary Jo, and a Baltic cruise is the perfect place to buy amber! It doesn’t really matter what size the pieces are, they are all beautiful and have that special glow. I’ll have to persuade my DH to go on a cruise there too

    Reply
  12. That sounds gorgeous, Mary Jo, and a Baltic cruise is the perfect place to buy amber! It doesn’t really matter what size the pieces are, they are all beautiful and have that special glow. I’ll have to persuade my DH to go on a cruise there too

    Reply
  13. That sounds gorgeous, Mary Jo, and a Baltic cruise is the perfect place to buy amber! It doesn’t really matter what size the pieces are, they are all beautiful and have that special glow. I’ll have to persuade my DH to go on a cruise there too

    Reply
  14. That sounds gorgeous, Mary Jo, and a Baltic cruise is the perfect place to buy amber! It doesn’t really matter what size the pieces are, they are all beautiful and have that special glow. I’ll have to persuade my DH to go on a cruise there too

    Reply
  15. That sounds gorgeous, Mary Jo, and a Baltic cruise is the perfect place to buy amber! It doesn’t really matter what size the pieces are, they are all beautiful and have that special glow. I’ll have to persuade my DH to go on a cruise there too

    Reply
  16. Thank you for a fascinating post, Christina! I do not own any amber, but I’ll certainly be on the lookout next time I walk on a beach.

    Reply
  17. Thank you for a fascinating post, Christina! I do not own any amber, but I’ll certainly be on the lookout next time I walk on a beach.

    Reply
  18. Thank you for a fascinating post, Christina! I do not own any amber, but I’ll certainly be on the lookout next time I walk on a beach.

    Reply
  19. Thank you for a fascinating post, Christina! I do not own any amber, but I’ll certainly be on the lookout next time I walk on a beach.

    Reply
  20. Thank you for a fascinating post, Christina! I do not own any amber, but I’ll certainly be on the lookout next time I walk on a beach.

    Reply
  21. There is something almost magical about those creatures trapped inside, isn’t there! Creating a story about them sounds great, Pamela. I’m glad you have a store like that near you – I do too and I can never resist going in for a quick look. There are so many beautiful gems, rocks and crystals, I’d love to buy them all!

    Reply
  22. There is something almost magical about those creatures trapped inside, isn’t there! Creating a story about them sounds great, Pamela. I’m glad you have a store like that near you – I do too and I can never resist going in for a quick look. There are so many beautiful gems, rocks and crystals, I’d love to buy them all!

    Reply
  23. There is something almost magical about those creatures trapped inside, isn’t there! Creating a story about them sounds great, Pamela. I’m glad you have a store like that near you – I do too and I can never resist going in for a quick look. There are so many beautiful gems, rocks and crystals, I’d love to buy them all!

    Reply
  24. There is something almost magical about those creatures trapped inside, isn’t there! Creating a story about them sounds great, Pamela. I’m glad you have a store like that near you – I do too and I can never resist going in for a quick look. There are so many beautiful gems, rocks and crystals, I’d love to buy them all!

    Reply
  25. There is something almost magical about those creatures trapped inside, isn’t there! Creating a story about them sounds great, Pamela. I’m glad you have a store like that near you – I do too and I can never resist going in for a quick look. There are so many beautiful gems, rocks and crystals, I’d love to buy them all!

    Reply
  26. Thank you, Kareni, so glad you enjoyed it! And yes, do keep an eye out – I’m really hoping to go back to the Swedish coast next time I’m over there and hopefully I’ll find something. I’d settle for even something small as it’s the thrill of it all!

    Reply
  27. Thank you, Kareni, so glad you enjoyed it! And yes, do keep an eye out – I’m really hoping to go back to the Swedish coast next time I’m over there and hopefully I’ll find something. I’d settle for even something small as it’s the thrill of it all!

    Reply
  28. Thank you, Kareni, so glad you enjoyed it! And yes, do keep an eye out – I’m really hoping to go back to the Swedish coast next time I’m over there and hopefully I’ll find something. I’d settle for even something small as it’s the thrill of it all!

    Reply
  29. Thank you, Kareni, so glad you enjoyed it! And yes, do keep an eye out – I’m really hoping to go back to the Swedish coast next time I’m over there and hopefully I’ll find something. I’d settle for even something small as it’s the thrill of it all!

    Reply
  30. Thank you, Kareni, so glad you enjoyed it! And yes, do keep an eye out – I’m really hoping to go back to the Swedish coast next time I’m over there and hopefully I’ll find something. I’d settle for even something small as it’s the thrill of it all!

    Reply
  31. I like the look and feel of amber although I don’t own any. (I don’d “do” jewelry much.
    I thank you for a very intersting post.

    Reply
  32. I like the look and feel of amber although I don’t own any. (I don’d “do” jewelry much.
    I thank you for a very intersting post.

    Reply
  33. I like the look and feel of amber although I don’t own any. (I don’d “do” jewelry much.
    I thank you for a very intersting post.

    Reply
  34. I like the look and feel of amber although I don’t own any. (I don’d “do” jewelry much.
    I thank you for a very intersting post.

    Reply
  35. I like the look and feel of amber although I don’t own any. (I don’d “do” jewelry much.
    I thank you for a very intersting post.

    Reply
  36. As a child of Norwegian descent, an amber heart necklace was my first jewelry given to me by my grandparents. They claimed it would bring me luck. Not so sure it did that, but it is lovely and I have added other amber pieces to my collection.

    Reply
  37. As a child of Norwegian descent, an amber heart necklace was my first jewelry given to me by my grandparents. They claimed it would bring me luck. Not so sure it did that, but it is lovely and I have added other amber pieces to my collection.

    Reply
  38. As a child of Norwegian descent, an amber heart necklace was my first jewelry given to me by my grandparents. They claimed it would bring me luck. Not so sure it did that, but it is lovely and I have added other amber pieces to my collection.

    Reply
  39. As a child of Norwegian descent, an amber heart necklace was my first jewelry given to me by my grandparents. They claimed it would bring me luck. Not so sure it did that, but it is lovely and I have added other amber pieces to my collection.

    Reply
  40. As a child of Norwegian descent, an amber heart necklace was my first jewelry given to me by my grandparents. They claimed it would bring me luck. Not so sure it did that, but it is lovely and I have added other amber pieces to my collection.

    Reply
  41. How perfect, Janice! I’m sure it did bring you luck and it’s lovely to have something that makes you think about your grandparents.

    Reply
  42. How perfect, Janice! I’m sure it did bring you luck and it’s lovely to have something that makes you think about your grandparents.

    Reply
  43. How perfect, Janice! I’m sure it did bring you luck and it’s lovely to have something that makes you think about your grandparents.

    Reply
  44. How perfect, Janice! I’m sure it did bring you luck and it’s lovely to have something that makes you think about your grandparents.

    Reply
  45. How perfect, Janice! I’m sure it did bring you luck and it’s lovely to have something that makes you think about your grandparents.

    Reply
  46. I love amber too, particularly the orange pieces with inclusions, like the one in your top photo. Amber doesn’t seem to be around much these days, and I wonder why it’s so scarce.

    Reply
  47. I love amber too, particularly the orange pieces with inclusions, like the one in your top photo. Amber doesn’t seem to be around much these days, and I wonder why it’s so scarce.

    Reply
  48. I love amber too, particularly the orange pieces with inclusions, like the one in your top photo. Amber doesn’t seem to be around much these days, and I wonder why it’s so scarce.

    Reply
  49. I love amber too, particularly the orange pieces with inclusions, like the one in your top photo. Amber doesn’t seem to be around much these days, and I wonder why it’s so scarce.

    Reply
  50. I love amber too, particularly the orange pieces with inclusions, like the one in your top photo. Amber doesn’t seem to be around much these days, and I wonder why it’s so scarce.

    Reply
  51. Thank you Janice – maybe only certain shops stock it? In the town where I live there used to be a shop just for amber but it closed down. I hope you find some near you!

    Reply
  52. Thank you Janice – maybe only certain shops stock it? In the town where I live there used to be a shop just for amber but it closed down. I hope you find some near you!

    Reply
  53. Thank you Janice – maybe only certain shops stock it? In the town where I live there used to be a shop just for amber but it closed down. I hope you find some near you!

    Reply
  54. Thank you Janice – maybe only certain shops stock it? In the town where I live there used to be a shop just for amber but it closed down. I hope you find some near you!

    Reply
  55. Thank you Janice – maybe only certain shops stock it? In the town where I live there used to be a shop just for amber but it closed down. I hope you find some near you!

    Reply
  56. There’s also a special kind of precious amber that’s only found in Ukraine. Because I’m Ukrainian I have some amber jewellery, but I prefer the more delicate pieces.
    In Eastern Europe and the Baltics, the shops where the rich tourists (used to – thanks, Covid!) visit sell enormous necklaces with golf ball-sized amber beads. They cost tens of thousands, but I always think they look like they could be made from plastic!
    Amber is so much nicer when it’s in moderation. My favourite pieces are made in a leaf pattern, with each “leaf” a slightly different shade.

    Reply
  57. There’s also a special kind of precious amber that’s only found in Ukraine. Because I’m Ukrainian I have some amber jewellery, but I prefer the more delicate pieces.
    In Eastern Europe and the Baltics, the shops where the rich tourists (used to – thanks, Covid!) visit sell enormous necklaces with golf ball-sized amber beads. They cost tens of thousands, but I always think they look like they could be made from plastic!
    Amber is so much nicer when it’s in moderation. My favourite pieces are made in a leaf pattern, with each “leaf” a slightly different shade.

    Reply
  58. There’s also a special kind of precious amber that’s only found in Ukraine. Because I’m Ukrainian I have some amber jewellery, but I prefer the more delicate pieces.
    In Eastern Europe and the Baltics, the shops where the rich tourists (used to – thanks, Covid!) visit sell enormous necklaces with golf ball-sized amber beads. They cost tens of thousands, but I always think they look like they could be made from plastic!
    Amber is so much nicer when it’s in moderation. My favourite pieces are made in a leaf pattern, with each “leaf” a slightly different shade.

    Reply
  59. There’s also a special kind of precious amber that’s only found in Ukraine. Because I’m Ukrainian I have some amber jewellery, but I prefer the more delicate pieces.
    In Eastern Europe and the Baltics, the shops where the rich tourists (used to – thanks, Covid!) visit sell enormous necklaces with golf ball-sized amber beads. They cost tens of thousands, but I always think they look like they could be made from plastic!
    Amber is so much nicer when it’s in moderation. My favourite pieces are made in a leaf pattern, with each “leaf” a slightly different shade.

    Reply
  60. There’s also a special kind of precious amber that’s only found in Ukraine. Because I’m Ukrainian I have some amber jewellery, but I prefer the more delicate pieces.
    In Eastern Europe and the Baltics, the shops where the rich tourists (used to – thanks, Covid!) visit sell enormous necklaces with golf ball-sized amber beads. They cost tens of thousands, but I always think they look like they could be made from plastic!
    Amber is so much nicer when it’s in moderation. My favourite pieces are made in a leaf pattern, with each “leaf” a slightly different shade.

    Reply
  61. Lovely post and bringing back memories of a trip to the Baltic including St. Petersburg, where of cours we visited the famous amber room. It is impressive, but due to the huge amount of visitors you get hardly any time to look around. Would probably be better now, with all the tourists staying at home. But then I have to stay at home as well 😉
    I own at least two amber necklaces: One is made from small pieces in all colours between yellow and almost dark brown. The other is – what I have since learned – butterscotch amber,that is not see through and a very pale yellow. Apparently that is more valuable and to me it’s a reminder of the aunt who gave it to me. But I confess, the smaller more colourful one is more to my taste.

    Reply
  62. Lovely post and bringing back memories of a trip to the Baltic including St. Petersburg, where of cours we visited the famous amber room. It is impressive, but due to the huge amount of visitors you get hardly any time to look around. Would probably be better now, with all the tourists staying at home. But then I have to stay at home as well 😉
    I own at least two amber necklaces: One is made from small pieces in all colours between yellow and almost dark brown. The other is – what I have since learned – butterscotch amber,that is not see through and a very pale yellow. Apparently that is more valuable and to me it’s a reminder of the aunt who gave it to me. But I confess, the smaller more colourful one is more to my taste.

    Reply
  63. Lovely post and bringing back memories of a trip to the Baltic including St. Petersburg, where of cours we visited the famous amber room. It is impressive, but due to the huge amount of visitors you get hardly any time to look around. Would probably be better now, with all the tourists staying at home. But then I have to stay at home as well 😉
    I own at least two amber necklaces: One is made from small pieces in all colours between yellow and almost dark brown. The other is – what I have since learned – butterscotch amber,that is not see through and a very pale yellow. Apparently that is more valuable and to me it’s a reminder of the aunt who gave it to me. But I confess, the smaller more colourful one is more to my taste.

    Reply
  64. Lovely post and bringing back memories of a trip to the Baltic including St. Petersburg, where of cours we visited the famous amber room. It is impressive, but due to the huge amount of visitors you get hardly any time to look around. Would probably be better now, with all the tourists staying at home. But then I have to stay at home as well 😉
    I own at least two amber necklaces: One is made from small pieces in all colours between yellow and almost dark brown. The other is – what I have since learned – butterscotch amber,that is not see through and a very pale yellow. Apparently that is more valuable and to me it’s a reminder of the aunt who gave it to me. But I confess, the smaller more colourful one is more to my taste.

    Reply
  65. Lovely post and bringing back memories of a trip to the Baltic including St. Petersburg, where of cours we visited the famous amber room. It is impressive, but due to the huge amount of visitors you get hardly any time to look around. Would probably be better now, with all the tourists staying at home. But then I have to stay at home as well 😉
    I own at least two amber necklaces: One is made from small pieces in all colours between yellow and almost dark brown. The other is – what I have since learned – butterscotch amber,that is not see through and a very pale yellow. Apparently that is more valuable and to me it’s a reminder of the aunt who gave it to me. But I confess, the smaller more colourful one is more to my taste.

    Reply
  66. Christina-I once owned a silver pin in the shape of an insect. The body was an elliptical piece if Amber. I don’t know if the amber was real or fake. I’m so glad you mentioned the Amber Room, which is the first thing that came to mind when I started reading your piece. I’ve always wished I could have seen it in its original glory. And speaking of amber, I’m also reminded of its use in genre fiction, e.g. Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber and Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber.

    Reply
  67. Christina-I once owned a silver pin in the shape of an insect. The body was an elliptical piece if Amber. I don’t know if the amber was real or fake. I’m so glad you mentioned the Amber Room, which is the first thing that came to mind when I started reading your piece. I’ve always wished I could have seen it in its original glory. And speaking of amber, I’m also reminded of its use in genre fiction, e.g. Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber and Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber.

    Reply
  68. Christina-I once owned a silver pin in the shape of an insect. The body was an elliptical piece if Amber. I don’t know if the amber was real or fake. I’m so glad you mentioned the Amber Room, which is the first thing that came to mind when I started reading your piece. I’ve always wished I could have seen it in its original glory. And speaking of amber, I’m also reminded of its use in genre fiction, e.g. Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber and Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber.

    Reply
  69. Christina-I once owned a silver pin in the shape of an insect. The body was an elliptical piece if Amber. I don’t know if the amber was real or fake. I’m so glad you mentioned the Amber Room, which is the first thing that came to mind when I started reading your piece. I’ve always wished I could have seen it in its original glory. And speaking of amber, I’m also reminded of its use in genre fiction, e.g. Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber and Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber.

    Reply
  70. Christina-I once owned a silver pin in the shape of an insect. The body was an elliptical piece if Amber. I don’t know if the amber was real or fake. I’m so glad you mentioned the Amber Room, which is the first thing that came to mind when I started reading your piece. I’ve always wished I could have seen it in its original glory. And speaking of amber, I’m also reminded of its use in genre fiction, e.g. Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber and Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber.

    Reply
  71. That sounds amazing, Sonya! And I agree, I don’t think I’d like golf ball sized beads or the ones that have been shaped too uniformly. My favourites are the raindrop-shaped ones or those that are just an uneven natural shape.

    Reply
  72. That sounds amazing, Sonya! And I agree, I don’t think I’d like golf ball sized beads or the ones that have been shaped too uniformly. My favourites are the raindrop-shaped ones or those that are just an uneven natural shape.

    Reply
  73. That sounds amazing, Sonya! And I agree, I don’t think I’d like golf ball sized beads or the ones that have been shaped too uniformly. My favourites are the raindrop-shaped ones or those that are just an uneven natural shape.

    Reply
  74. That sounds amazing, Sonya! And I agree, I don’t think I’d like golf ball sized beads or the ones that have been shaped too uniformly. My favourites are the raindrop-shaped ones or those that are just an uneven natural shape.

    Reply
  75. That sounds amazing, Sonya! And I agree, I don’t think I’d like golf ball sized beads or the ones that have been shaped too uniformly. My favourites are the raindrop-shaped ones or those that are just an uneven natural shape.

    Reply
  76. Oh I’m so jealous, Katja, I really want to see that Amber Room! A shame if there were too many people in there at once but that happens to a lot of places doesn’t it. I too prefer the see-through amber to the butterscotch, although those are pretty too. Lovely to have a memento of your aunt!

    Reply
  77. Oh I’m so jealous, Katja, I really want to see that Amber Room! A shame if there were too many people in there at once but that happens to a lot of places doesn’t it. I too prefer the see-through amber to the butterscotch, although those are pretty too. Lovely to have a memento of your aunt!

    Reply
  78. Oh I’m so jealous, Katja, I really want to see that Amber Room! A shame if there were too many people in there at once but that happens to a lot of places doesn’t it. I too prefer the see-through amber to the butterscotch, although those are pretty too. Lovely to have a memento of your aunt!

    Reply
  79. Oh I’m so jealous, Katja, I really want to see that Amber Room! A shame if there were too many people in there at once but that happens to a lot of places doesn’t it. I too prefer the see-through amber to the butterscotch, although those are pretty too. Lovely to have a memento of your aunt!

    Reply
  80. Oh I’m so jealous, Katja, I really want to see that Amber Room! A shame if there were too many people in there at once but that happens to a lot of places doesn’t it. I too prefer the see-through amber to the butterscotch, although those are pretty too. Lovely to have a memento of your aunt!

    Reply
  81. Yes, there are some amazing pieces of jewellery made with amber – I like the sound of yours! Some jewellers are very clever and utilise the shape of the gemstones they have to work with in original ways. I haven’t read the Chronicles of Amber – will have to look that up. Thank you!

    Reply
  82. Yes, there are some amazing pieces of jewellery made with amber – I like the sound of yours! Some jewellers are very clever and utilise the shape of the gemstones they have to work with in original ways. I haven’t read the Chronicles of Amber – will have to look that up. Thank you!

    Reply
  83. Yes, there are some amazing pieces of jewellery made with amber – I like the sound of yours! Some jewellers are very clever and utilise the shape of the gemstones they have to work with in original ways. I haven’t read the Chronicles of Amber – will have to look that up. Thank you!

    Reply
  84. Yes, there are some amazing pieces of jewellery made with amber – I like the sound of yours! Some jewellers are very clever and utilise the shape of the gemstones they have to work with in original ways. I haven’t read the Chronicles of Amber – will have to look that up. Thank you!

    Reply
  85. Yes, there are some amazing pieces of jewellery made with amber – I like the sound of yours! Some jewellers are very clever and utilise the shape of the gemstones they have to work with in original ways. I haven’t read the Chronicles of Amber – will have to look that up. Thank you!

    Reply
  86. Amber is lovely, and another thing, it’s much more lightweight than you would expect it to be. Which makes it great if you don’t like heavy jewelry.

    Reply
  87. Amber is lovely, and another thing, it’s much more lightweight than you would expect it to be. Which makes it great if you don’t like heavy jewelry.

    Reply
  88. Amber is lovely, and another thing, it’s much more lightweight than you would expect it to be. Which makes it great if you don’t like heavy jewelry.

    Reply
  89. Amber is lovely, and another thing, it’s much more lightweight than you would expect it to be. Which makes it great if you don’t like heavy jewelry.

    Reply
  90. Amber is lovely, and another thing, it’s much more lightweight than you would expect it to be. Which makes it great if you don’t like heavy jewelry.

    Reply
  91. I love amber! I have a green amber pendant I bought years ago at the Smithsonian. Unfortunately it doesn’t have any plants or bugs in it. I wish!

    Reply
  92. I love amber! I have a green amber pendant I bought years ago at the Smithsonian. Unfortunately it doesn’t have any plants or bugs in it. I wish!

    Reply
  93. I love amber! I have a green amber pendant I bought years ago at the Smithsonian. Unfortunately it doesn’t have any plants or bugs in it. I wish!

    Reply
  94. I love amber! I have a green amber pendant I bought years ago at the Smithsonian. Unfortunately it doesn’t have any plants or bugs in it. I wish!

    Reply
  95. I love amber! I have a green amber pendant I bought years ago at the Smithsonian. Unfortunately it doesn’t have any plants or bugs in it. I wish!

    Reply
  96. Thanks for this post. I am a fan of amber, but have never owned any.
    I think it would be lovely to visit St Petersburg and see the room, even a reconstructed room.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  97. Thanks for this post. I am a fan of amber, but have never owned any.
    I think it would be lovely to visit St Petersburg and see the room, even a reconstructed room.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  98. Thanks for this post. I am a fan of amber, but have never owned any.
    I think it would be lovely to visit St Petersburg and see the room, even a reconstructed room.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  99. Thanks for this post. I am a fan of amber, but have never owned any.
    I think it would be lovely to visit St Petersburg and see the room, even a reconstructed room.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  100. Thanks for this post. I am a fan of amber, but have never owned any.
    I think it would be lovely to visit St Petersburg and see the room, even a reconstructed room.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  101. Green amber was the type I fell for first – I have green eyes so thought it would suit me best 🙂 But now I love all the different colours, they’re all beautiful in their own way. Your pendant sounds lovely, Pat!

    Reply
  102. Green amber was the type I fell for first – I have green eyes so thought it would suit me best 🙂 But now I love all the different colours, they’re all beautiful in their own way. Your pendant sounds lovely, Pat!

    Reply
  103. Green amber was the type I fell for first – I have green eyes so thought it would suit me best 🙂 But now I love all the different colours, they’re all beautiful in their own way. Your pendant sounds lovely, Pat!

    Reply
  104. Green amber was the type I fell for first – I have green eyes so thought it would suit me best 🙂 But now I love all the different colours, they’re all beautiful in their own way. Your pendant sounds lovely, Pat!

    Reply
  105. Green amber was the type I fell for first – I have green eyes so thought it would suit me best 🙂 But now I love all the different colours, they’re all beautiful in their own way. Your pendant sounds lovely, Pat!

    Reply
  106. Thank you Annette! Yes, I do hope I can go there one day and it’s fantastic that they’ve managed to recreate it so beautifully – that must have been incredibly difficult and expensive! At least this way it’s still there for people to enjoy. I really wish they could find out what happened to the original though! Love a good mystery 🙂

    Reply
  107. Thank you Annette! Yes, I do hope I can go there one day and it’s fantastic that they’ve managed to recreate it so beautifully – that must have been incredibly difficult and expensive! At least this way it’s still there for people to enjoy. I really wish they could find out what happened to the original though! Love a good mystery 🙂

    Reply
  108. Thank you Annette! Yes, I do hope I can go there one day and it’s fantastic that they’ve managed to recreate it so beautifully – that must have been incredibly difficult and expensive! At least this way it’s still there for people to enjoy. I really wish they could find out what happened to the original though! Love a good mystery 🙂

    Reply
  109. Thank you Annette! Yes, I do hope I can go there one day and it’s fantastic that they’ve managed to recreate it so beautifully – that must have been incredibly difficult and expensive! At least this way it’s still there for people to enjoy. I really wish they could find out what happened to the original though! Love a good mystery 🙂

    Reply
  110. Thank you Annette! Yes, I do hope I can go there one day and it’s fantastic that they’ve managed to recreate it so beautifully – that must have been incredibly difficult and expensive! At least this way it’s still there for people to enjoy. I really wish they could find out what happened to the original though! Love a good mystery 🙂

    Reply
  111. Roger Zelazny was an amazing writer. I first read A Rose for Ecclesiastes in F&SF with that iconic Hannes Bok cover. I also saw Zelazny read in person at a session of Harlan Ellison’s Ten Tuesdays Down a Rabbit Hole. Fritz Leiber also read in that session.
    So sorry all are gone now.

    Reply
  112. Roger Zelazny was an amazing writer. I first read A Rose for Ecclesiastes in F&SF with that iconic Hannes Bok cover. I also saw Zelazny read in person at a session of Harlan Ellison’s Ten Tuesdays Down a Rabbit Hole. Fritz Leiber also read in that session.
    So sorry all are gone now.

    Reply
  113. Roger Zelazny was an amazing writer. I first read A Rose for Ecclesiastes in F&SF with that iconic Hannes Bok cover. I also saw Zelazny read in person at a session of Harlan Ellison’s Ten Tuesdays Down a Rabbit Hole. Fritz Leiber also read in that session.
    So sorry all are gone now.

    Reply
  114. Roger Zelazny was an amazing writer. I first read A Rose for Ecclesiastes in F&SF with that iconic Hannes Bok cover. I also saw Zelazny read in person at a session of Harlan Ellison’s Ten Tuesdays Down a Rabbit Hole. Fritz Leiber also read in that session.
    So sorry all are gone now.

    Reply
  115. Roger Zelazny was an amazing writer. I first read A Rose for Ecclesiastes in F&SF with that iconic Hannes Bok cover. I also saw Zelazny read in person at a session of Harlan Ellison’s Ten Tuesdays Down a Rabbit Hole. Fritz Leiber also read in that session.
    So sorry all are gone now.

    Reply

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