Amber. Northern Gold.
It oozed out of the tree trunks 50 million years ago in the subtropical forests that covered what is today Scandinavia and quickly became fossilised. At the time it was just tree resin, but then it became "amber", "Bernstein" in German, "Barnsteen" in Dutch and "Bursztyn" in Polish and has shown what it could do since then! The Roman poet Ovid admired it 200 years ago as “tears of the gods“.The coveted "Northern Gold" was transported along the “Amber Route" from the Baltic to the Mediterranean where the "combustible stones" (”bernen“ means ”burn“ in Low German) were used as fuel, incense substitute and choice stones for jewellery. From the rosary beads to the lore of medicine in the Middle Ages which ascribed healing powers to Baltic amber, to the lost "Amber room" of the Catherine Palace, near Saint Petersburg, to the use for jewellery today, the value attached to the "tears of the gods" continues. Natural amber is found in countless shades, from white to yellow and red, to dark brown.