Features and properties of Baltic amber

February 14, 2017 /  

Baltic amber - magic stone, gold of the north.

Baltic amber, also known as succinite, is the best known fossil resin formed from prehistoric trees. To date, the parent tree for Baltic amber has not been clearly established. Since the nineteenth century, the most common is the plant from pine families - Pinus Succinifera.

From a chemical point of view, Baltic amber consists of 79% from carbon, 10.5% from oxygen and 10.5% from hydrogen. It is practically insoluble in the most common solvents.

Natural Baltic amber comes in two basic varieties (which depend on the internal structure) - transparent and opaque. A transparent variety is one in which there are no gas bubbles. trinket or honey or are in small amounts with a cloud. On the other hand, opaque varieties can appear in white and yellow.

Opaque white amber forms when the number of gas bubbles reaches 900,000 on a 1 mm surface2. The internal structure then acquires the character of foam, the amber is very light and its color turns white. Opaque yellow amber is formed when the number of gas bubbles reaches 25,000 on 1 mm surface2.

Amber is an "eternally living stone" that manifests its life with color changes. This happens as a result of the action of air, light, and also by changes in humidity and temperature. Changes in the color and structure of amber are noticeable after 15-20 years. Light colors are becoming more orange, red, overgrown with bark. Amber weathers from outside to inside.

There are no red or black ambers in nature. These colors are artificial, obtained in an autoclave under the influence of high temperature, pressure and other inhibitors.

Baltic amber contains from 3 to 8% succinic acid and this distinguishes it from other resins in the world (they contain from 0 to 3% succinic acid). The most succinic acid is found in the outer layer of amber, the so-called bark.

Therefore, believing in the health properties of amber, it is best to wear products from rough amber. In addition, rubbing it with a fabric, it will be electrostatically charged and then attract small particles, e.g. scraps of paper. What's more, amber burns, gives off a nice, pleasant, resinous smell. It floats on the surface of salt water but sinks in fresh water (due to its density similar to sea water). On the Mohs scale, its hardness is 2.0 - 2.5 (between plaster - hardness 2.0 and calcite - hardness 3.0).

Visiting the exhibition Amber Museum

Adults and children with guardians can visit the Museum without prior reservation during the museum's opening hours. 

Admission is free.
It is possible to visit the Museum with a guide. Individuals and organized groups wishing to visit the Museum with a guide are kindly requested to make reservations in advance.

Fees for guided tours:

  • Groups up to 5 people - PLN 30
  • Groups of 5 to 10 people - PLN 50
  • Groups from 10 to 15 people - PLN 70
The maximum number of people in a group is 15. 
The time for visiting the Museum with a guide is about 40 minutes.
Telephone: +48 513 511 512

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