0 The World Biggest Source of Amber

The World Biggest Source of Amber

Posted on April 12, 2015 by team


Do you know where amber is taken from? Do you know that people have been extracting amber for fifty million years? It all began in the paleogene period with the extreme rise of temperature. Heat and high humidity turned the planet into a botanical garden full of amazing plants emitting resin through bark. Oxidizing bark got hardened and became the part of the “amber forest”.

Today the “fruits” of “amber forests” are gathered in eleven places of the world. The biggest source of sunstone is located in Russia, in the Kaliningrad region. According to experts 90% of all global amber reserve is concentrated here.

We are in Yantarniy (Amber) settlement of the Kaliningrad region. The first industrial company for amber extraction was founded here in 1871 as well as two mines which are are already closed. Today amber is mainly extracted in the Primorsky quarry.

Primorsky quarry was put into service in 1976, according to the project its life is equal to 90 years   The average depth of amber occurrence is fifty meters.

The most efficient method of amber extraction is an open one that applies the principle of hydromechanization.

On the image above is a walking excavator ESH-10. Its bucket is used for extracting amber containing blue clay. The bucket of 700-tonned vehicle scoops 20 tonnes of material at once.

Nets are used to take out the most valuable bigger fragments of sunstone from the clay. The remaining slush goes further through the pipeline for processing.

In July 2014 they received the new equipment that helps to reduce energy consumption.

This is a flooded quarry named “Walter”. They stopped mining here in 1970.

The water is very clean so they opened a diving center here. The place attracts many tourists and movie makers.

The mine named “Anna” had been working here until 1931. They say that it’s the very place where the lost Amber room is located. However this place is mostly notorious – on January 1931, 1945, four days after Auschwitz liberation, 3-9 thousand Jewish prisoners were killed here.

But let us go to the factory where amber is handled. The factory makes three types of products: mass products (about 60 thousand items per annum), individual carved goods and highly artistic items.

But first of all they need to sort the amber out according to its quality, color and size. Its characteristics determine the way it will be used.

Cutting the amber.

Drilling and polishing.

Amber can be melted in a furnace. Different temperature gives its own color of the stone.

The final stage is the assembly of ready products.

They have a special shop for making amber jewelry.

In all times amber was a favorite material for artists. “Emelyanov and Sons” manufacturer makes real masterpieces from amber and participate in international exhibitions with their products.

It approximately takes ten years to become a real master. Today the company employs twenty talented artists.

Each item has its own character. The artists should know the future owner, his tastes, character and his home to make an ideal thing for him.

There is the problem of so-called “black miners” who extract amber illegally.

They use the primitive method of extraction which is very harmful to nature.

Fortunately many of them have already been punished.

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