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Amber mining

The oldest and the most primitive method of obtaining amber was collecting it from sandy beaches where various size pieces were washed by the waves.

While historical conditions were changing, amber industry developed and more improved and efficient ways of obtaining amber were introduced. Man was not satisfied with what waves would throw. So instead of using hands people started using skimmers.

Fishermen would sail into the stormy sea and use skimmers to catch as much amber as it was possible. However this method was very dangerous, especially when the sea was very stormy – waves returning from the shore into the sea could not only sunken amber but also its catcher. That is why this method is not used anymore.

Since the beginning of eighteen century amber was sought by diving into the sea. In Juodkrante even diver’s wear was produced. However this method was not suitable to obtain great quantities of amber and also it was too dangerous.

Now amber is mined from the bottom of the seas and from the earth.

Fisherman in the shallower depths of the Curonian Lagoon collect amber using kasele – a horseshoe shaped arc with the net attached to it. Kasele is fitted between two boats which are being rowed. Then the end with the net of kasele carves the bottom of the sea and the net catches amber.

The best method to obtain amber is to mine it from the land with specialized machinery. In the amber museum photos from Jantaris (Kaliningrad) mines are being exhibited. There you can see how amber was mined in the past and how it is mined now. The Soviet government, in order to create great working conditions, got good mining machines.

In Jantaris the amount of mined amber increased significantly. Every year there are mine about 400 tons of amber. 

amber necklace

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