Amber Coast

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The Sambia Peninsula, Bay of Gdansk and Vistula Lagoon; the area of the "Amber Coast") KaliningradOB.png
The Sambia Peninsula, Bay of Gdańsk and Vistula Lagoon; the area of the "Amber Coast")
Open-pit mining near Jantarny (Sambia Peninsula, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia) Pribrezhnyje yantarnyje razrabotki.jpg
Open-pit mining near Jantarny (Sambia Peninsula, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
Different colours of Baltic amber. Colours of Baltic Amber.jpg
Different colours of Baltic amber.

The Amber Coast is the name given to a coastal strip of the Baltic Sea in the northwest of Kaliningrad (Russia, Kaliningrad Oblast, Sambia Peninsula, formerly northern East Prussia in Germany). In this area amber (Baltic amber) has been excavated since the mid-19th century and up to today in open-pit mining. Two deposits – Palmnikenskoe and Primorskoe, containing 80% of world amber reserves, were found near Yantarny on the Western coast of the Sambia Peninsula in 1948-1951’s. [1]

Baltic Sea A sea in Northern Europe bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands

The Baltic Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, northeast Germany, Poland, Russia and the North and Central European Plain.

Kaliningrad City in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia

Kaliningrad is the largest city and the administrative centre of Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea. At the 2010 Census, Kaliningrad's population was 431,902.

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is, by a considerable margin, the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.79 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.



Scientists believe that amber was deposited during the Upper Eocene and Lower Oligocene in a delta of a prehistoric river, in a shallow part of a marine basin. [2] In addition to the coast near Kaliningrad, amber is also found elsewhere in the Baltic Sea region. [2] The deposits are found mostly in the "blue earth glauconite", a layer 1 to 17.5 meters thick found 25 to 40 meters from the surface. [2] In addition to the Sambia region, amber is gathered in noticeable amounts at German, Polish and Lithuanian Baltic beaches [2] (areas of the Bay of Gdańsk as well as the Vistula Lagoon), the western coast of Denmark [2] and the Frisian Islands. [2] Small amounts of Baltic amber can even be found outside the Baltic region, for example on the coastline of the south east of England. [2]

River delta Silt deposition landform at the mouth of a river

A river delta is a landform created by deposition of sediment that is carried by a river as the flow leaves its mouth and enters slower-moving or stagnant water. This occurs where a river enters an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, reservoir, or another river that cannot carry away the supplied sediment. The size and shape of a delta is controlled by the balance between watershed processes that supply sediment, and receiving basin processes that redistribute, sequester, and export that sediment. The size, geometry, and location of the receiving basin also plays an important role in delta evolution. River deltas are important in human civilization, as they are major agricultural production centers and population centers. They can provide coastline defense and can impact drinking water supply. They are also ecologically important, with different species' assemblages depending on their landscape position.

Glauconite mica mineral group

Glauconite is an iron potassium phyllosilicate mineral of characteristic green color which is very friable and has very low weathering resistance.

Vistula Lagoon fresh water lagoon on the Baltic Sea

The Vistula Lagoon is a brackish water lagoon on the Baltic Sea roughly 56 miles (90 km) long, 6 to 15 miles wide, and up to 17 feet deep, separated from Gdańsk Bay by the Vistula Spit. It is now known as the Vistula Bay or Vistula Gulf. The modern German name, Frisches Haff, is derived from an earlier form, Friesisches Haff.

However, about 90% [3] [4] to 98% [2] of all output of amber has been produced in the Sambia region (now a Russian exclave, formerly in Eastern Prussia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). [2] The Sambian amber-producing region is a square of about 30–40 km (20–25 miles), although geologists estimate there are deposits beyond the region of the main excavations. [2] A potential nearby source of amber is the Courish Lagoon. [2] Amber excavation is overseen by the Russian Amber Company (Ruskij Jantar). [2] [5]

The Amber Coast is mentioned as early as by Tacitus in his work Germania. [6] [7]

Other uses

Another coastal strip referred to as “amber coast” is the Costa de Ambar (also known as “Costambar”) in the west of Puerto Plata (Hispaniola, Dominican Republic). In this area there are a number of small shaft mines, from which is excavated the so-called "Dominican amber". [8] The Dominican amber production site is the world's second-largest, although compared to the Baltic region it is "a distant second". [9]

Hispaniola Caribbean island divided between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Most populous and second-largest island in the West Indies.

Hispaniola is an island in the Caribbean archipelago known as the Greater Antilles. It is the most populous island in the West Indies and the region's second largest after Cuba.

Dominican Republic country in the Caribbean

The Dominican Republic is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of only two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two sovereign states. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area at 48,671 square kilometers (18,792 sq mi), and third by population with approximately 10,299,000 people, of whom approximately three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city.

Dominican amber

Dominican amber is amber from the Dominican Republic. Resin from the extinct tree Hymenaea protera is the source of Dominican amber and probably of most amber found in the tropics.

Related Research Articles

Amber Fossilized tree resin

Amber is fossilized tree resin, which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects. Amber is used in jewelry. It has also been used as a healing agent in folk medicine.

Elbląg Place in Warmian-Masurian, Poland

Elbląg is a city in northern Poland on the eastern edge of the Żuławy region with 120,142 inhabitants. It is the capital of Elbląg County and has been assigned to the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. Previously it was the capital of Elbląg Voivodeship (1975–1998) and a county seat within Gdańsk Voivodeship (1945–1975).

Kaliningrad Oblast First-level administrative division of Russia

Kaliningrad Oblast, often referred to as the Kaliningrad Region in English, or simply Kaliningrad, is a federal subject of the Russian Federation that is located on the coast of the Baltic Sea. As an oblast, its constitutional status is equal to each of the other 85 federal subjects. Its administrative center is the city of Kaliningrad, formerly known as Königsberg. It is the only Baltic port in the Russian Federation that remains ice-free in winter. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 941,873.

Geography of Lithuania

Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. The most populous of the Baltic states, Lithuania has 262 km (163 mi) of coastline consisting of the continental coast and the "Curonian Spit" coast. Lithuania's major warm-water port of Klaipėda (Memel) lies at the narrow mouth of Curonian Lagoon, a shallow lagoon extending south to Kaliningrad and separated from the Baltic sea by Curonian Spit, where Kuršių Nerija National Park was established for its remarkable sand dunes.

Sambia Peninsula peninsula

Sambia or Samland or Kaliningrad Peninsula is a peninsula in the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia, on the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea. The peninsula is bounded by the Curonian Lagoon, the Vistula Lagoon, the Pregel River, and the Deyma River. As Samland is surrounded on all sides by water, it is technically an island. Prior to 1945 it formed an important part of East Prussia.

Gdańsk Bay the bay in the Baltic Sea adjoining the port of Gdańsk and stretching to Kaliningrad

Gdansk Bay or the Bay of Gdansk Polish: Zatoka Gdańska; Kashubian: Gduńskô Hôwinga; Russian: Гданьская бухта, Gdan'skaja bukhta, and German: Danziger Bucht) is a southeastern bay of the Baltic Sea. It is named after the adjacent port city of Gdańsk in Poland and is sometimes referred to as the Gulf of Gdańsk.

Lithuania Minor

Lithuania Minor, or Prussian Lithuania, is a historical ethnographic region of Prussia, later East Prussia in Germany, where Prussian Lithuanians lived. Lithuania Minor enclosed the northern part of this province and got its name due to the territory's substantial Lithuanian-speaking population. Prior to the invasion of the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century, the main part of the territory later known as Lithuania Minor was inhabited by the tribes of Skalvians and Nadruvians. The land became depopulated to some extent during the warfare between Lithuania and the Order. The war ended with the Treaty of Melno and the land was resettled by Lithuanian newcomers, returning refugees, and the remaining indigenous Baltic peoples; the term Lithuania Minor appeared for the first time between 1517 and 1526. With the exception of the Klaipėda Region, which became a mandated territory of the League of Nations in 1920 by the Treaty of Versailles and was annexed to Lithuania from 1923 to 1939, the area was part of Prussia until 1945. Today a small portion of Lithuania Minor is within the borders of modern Lithuania and Poland while most of the territory is part of the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia.

Yantarny, Kaliningrad Oblast Urban-type settlement in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia

Yantarny, previously known in German as Palmnicken , is an urban locality in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located on the Sambian Peninsula, about 40 kilometers (25 mi) from Kaliningrad, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 5,524 (2010 Census); 5,455 (2002 Census); 4,948 (1989 Census).

Mokhovoye is a rural locality in Zelenogradsky District of Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located at the southwestern corner of the Curonian Lagoon.

Baltic amber type of amber from the Baltic area

The Baltic region is home to the largest known deposit of amber, called Baltic amber or succinite. It dates from 44 million years ago. It has been estimated that these forests created more than 100,000 tons of amber. Today, more than 90% of the world's amber comes from Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia. It is a major source of income for the region; the local Kaliningrad Amber Combine extracted 250 tonnes of it in 2014, 400 tonnes in 2015.

The Yantar Special Economic Zone is a Special Economic Zone in Russia, established in 1996 in the Kaliningrad Oblast of the Russian Federation.

Caribbean amber

Caribbean amber is amber found in the Caribbean area. Resin from the extinct tree Hymenaea protera is the source of Caribbean amber and probably of most amber found in the tropics.

Curonian Lagoon lagoon

The Curonian Lagoon is separated from the Baltic Sea by the Curonian Spit. Its surface area is 1,619 square kilometers (625 sq mi). The Neman River supplies about 90% of its inflows; its watershed consists of about 100,450 square kilometres in Lithuania and Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast.

Kaliningrad Regional Amber Museum

The Kaliningrad Regional Amber Museum is a museum located in the Russian city of Kaliningrad devoted to housing and displaying amber artworks. It is located in the city center, on the shore of Lake Verkhneye. Construction on the museum began in 1972. The museum opened in 1979 and houses about 14,000 individual pieces. The museum occupies part of a reconstructed fortification, originally built by Karl Friedrich Emil zu Dohna-Schlobitten in the Napoleonic wars.

Kaliningrad Regional Museum of History and Arts

The Kaliningrad Regional Museum of History and Arts is a museum along the Lower Pond in Kaliningrad, Russia. The building was built in 1912 by Berlin architect, Richard Zeil, originally the city hall (Stadthalle) and also a performing arts center in Königsberg, Germany.

Xylolaemus sakhnovi is an extinct species of cylindrical bark beetle in the family Zopheridae. The species is solely known from the Middle Eocene Baltic amber deposits in the Baltic Sea region of Europe. The genus Xylolaemus contains a total of six extant species distributed from western Europe through the Canary Islands and North Africa to India. The species is the first in the genus to be described from a fossil specimen.

<i>Proceratium eocenicum</i> species of insect

Proceratium eocenicum is an extinct species of formicid in the ant subfamily Proceratiinae known from fossils found in the Baltic region.

<i>Nylanderia pygmaea</i> species of insect (fossil)

Nylanderia pygmaea is an extinct species of formicid in the ant subfamily Formicinae known from fossils found in the Baltic region.


  1. "The History of Russian Amber, Part 1: The Beginning",
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Patty C. Rice (15 September 2006). Amber: Golden Gem of the Ages. Patty Rice. pp. 22ff. ISBN   978-1-4259-3849-9 . Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  3. Gemological Institute of America; American Gem Society (1996). Gems and gemology. Gemological Institute of America. p. 74. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  4. "Amber Trade and the Environment in the Kaliningrad Oblast". Archived from the original on 2012-07-06. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
  5. Patty C. Rice (15 September 2006). Amber: Golden Gem of the Ages. Patty Rice. pp. 116ff. ISBN   978-1-4259-3849-9 . Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  6. K. Andrée: Der Bernstein und seine Bedeutung in Natur- und Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst und Kunstgewerbe, Technik, Industrie und Handel. Königsberg 1937.
  7. F. Waldmann: Der Bernstein im Altertum - Eine historisch-philologische Skizze. Fellin 1883.
  8. George O. Poinar, Jr.: Life in amber. Stanford 1992
  9. "Fossil Amber or Fossil Resin". Virtual Fossil Museum. Retrieved 10 March 2011.

Coordinates: 54°49′37″N19°57′58″E / 54.827°N 19.966°E / 54.827; 19.966