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"Amber (Lith. gintaras), found on the Baltic Sea shores,
was and is highlytreasured and is the only national gem of Lithuania. It is a fossil resin" which came from the sap of "several varieties of pines. It is believed, that about 60 million years ago, these pines grew in the subtropical forest" in the present location of the Baltic Sea. "For unknown reasons these pines produced excessive amounts of" sap. "The overproduction may have been nature's method of healing natural injuries caused by storms, lightning, pests and diseases, or perhaps it was caused by a sudden change of climate." Sap "dropped to the forest ground, was embedded into the local sediments, compressed by the overlying deposits, and in time became fossilized. Numerous fragments of both plant and animal life were trapped in the sticky" sap "and thereby preserved. These inclusions make it possible to identify the plants and animal life of the period. Large pieces of good quality are used as gems.
Baltic amber jewelryhas been worn for many centuries, especially with Lithuanian national costume, and it continues to be popular today. Personal ornaments made from amber include necklaces, pendants, bracelets, brooches, earings, rings, cuff links, and hair ornaments.
Excerpts from Amber by Birute Saldukiene, Encyclopedia Lituanica, edited by Simas Suziedelis, published by Juozas Kapocius in Boston, Massachusetts, 1970, vol. 1, pp. 85-87.