You can tell from the spelling of HenrykaJewellery that this designer is based in the UK.  Anna Emmett's life long passion for Baltic amber was the spark which led her to launch her jewelry line back in 2006.  Today she has a team to help bring her "ideas, inspirations and unique esthetic to life."

The dainty line of nature inspired sterling silver jewelry is beautifully combined with gemstones, mostly amber and turquoise.  The hummingbird pendants shown below features both turquoise and green amber. The designs beautifully combine the fire and beauty of amber with cool sterling silver and turquoise. Truly unique!

Amber is fossilized coniferous tree resin - the oldest found dates back to 320 million years ago. People have been using it for ornamentation and folk medicine long before historical records were kept.  It can found all over the world. 

We tend to think of Baltic amber in a range of amber hues. But the amber can be anywhere from a translucent white, yellow, greenish, brown and almost black.  

The most famous are those from the Baltic Sea region. This region was once covered by an ancient forest.

Picture Credit : Norman Einstein

Baltic amber can literally be fished out from the sea after winter storms churn up deposits from the sea bed. People have been fishing for amber for thousands of years. Here is an illustration of 17th century amber gatherers :  (From "Succini Prussica, Physica et Civilis Historia" by P.J. Hartmann, published in Frankfurt, Germany in 1677).

Gathering amber in the old days was a miserable job. The dislodged amber nuggets, barely float and get tangled up with loosened seaweed. Rather than wait until the mess washed up on shore on someone else's stretch of beach, the men would wade into the water and fish using large nets. 

They worked in bitterly cold conditions and their leather and wool clothing soaked through and froze. They risked not just hypothermia but also drowning as the violent waves could sweep them away. They often worked leashed together like mountaineers. Amber gatherers also fished from boats in calm waters using spears to loosen the amber nuggets from amongst rocks and nets to scoop the nuggets. Later on, the more costly dredging method was used.

A modern day amber fisherman near Gdansk in Poland :

Baltic amber is also mined:

Open pit amber mine near Kaliningrad, Russia

Fun fact:  98% of creatures found in amber are insects.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM