The only amber factory in the world is located in Yantarny, the Kaliningrad Region.
Baltic amber is a specific subset of amber that is found only in northern Europe: it accounts for some 80% of the known amber in the world. Between 35 and 50 million years ago, sap oozed out from a forest of conifers (probably either false larch or kauri) in the region now covered by the Baltic Sea, and eventually hardened into clear lumps. Shoved around northern Europe by glaciers and river channels, lumps of genuine Baltic amber can still be found today on the eastern coasts of England and Holland, throughout Poland, Scandinavia and northern Germany and much of western Russia and the Baltic states. About 90% of the world’s extractable amber is still located in the Kaliningrad Region of Russia on the Baltic Sea (which was previously Königsberg in Prussia, before World War II).
By the time the Russian army entered Prussia, Germans had stopped extracting amber so they had to restore the pit and build new infrastructure. Thus, in June, 1948, it was put into operation. In 1960, they opened a new pit but due to some projecting mistakes they had to keep on working at the old one even though it was officially closed in 1972.
A new pit. It opened in 1976.
At first, they dug a 50 to 60 meter deep pit and then began to pan out amber from the botton of the pit. A worker washes off the upper layer of the dead rock with a water-jet which later gets pumped over into the sea.
After that, with a dragline crane, they remove a thin layer of the dead rock which covers blue earth.
Finally, the amber ground gets piped to the concentrating mill for further treatment.
This is an old German pit which is now flooded. Its water is really clean and some oligarchs from Moscow have their cottages on its shores.
The pit Anna was opened by Germans in 1871 and had worked up to 1924.
At the factory there is a close check after each employee because there were times when workers did not receive their wages and had to steel things from the factory. Now, they are trying to break this bad habit.
So, in this room they wash stones…
And sort them out depending on their size.
The bigger the stone is, the more expensive it costs.
Here they cut stones…
With devices like this.
Everything is made manually.
After that, polished stones get sorted out…
To become a part of a necklace or something. Apart from jewelry, amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes and as a healing agent in folk medicine.
At the factory, there is a department where artists make amber statuettes.
It is very laborious.
In the museum you can see a huge exhibit collection which is going to get even bigger by the way, because they want to attract tourists to this place.
Types of amber.
Types of amber.
This stone is giant!
The biggest stones are numbered and priced. This one, for example, has a weight od 2.4 kg and costs 3600 $.
They claim this clamshell to be 300 million years old!