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Jewelry created by nature. Insects trapped in amber

Jewelry created by nature-insects trapped in amber. Fossil ant (Formicidae) in Baltic amber.

Fossil ant (Formicidae) in Baltic amber. Jewelry created by nature. Insects trapped in amber

Jewelry created by nature – insects trapped in amber
First of all, about 90% of the world’s extractable amber, in fact, is in the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia on the Baltic Sea. Meanwhile, numerous extinct species of plants and animals inhabit the Baltic amber. Indeed the Baltic amber includes the largest species diversity of fossil insect fauna. Noteworthy, the age of fossil insects – mosquitoes, flies, ants, spiders in this Baltic amber is between 40 and 60 million years old. A fossilized tree resin, amber has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Used as an ingredient in perfumes, and a healing agent in folk medicine, craftsmen also use it in jewelry.

Insects trapped in amber

A Mosquito trapped in amber

Baltic amber includes the most species-rich fossil insect fauna discovered to date. The age of Baltic amber is approximately 44 million years (Paleogene period). Estimated, that those ancient forests produced more than 105 tons of amber. Amber in the XVII century by distillation was first derived succinic acid. Salts and esters of succinic acid called succinates (Latin succinum – amber). Because Baltic amber is 3-8% of succinic acid (Succinic acid), then it also called succinite.

According to scientists, from 1850s, the source of amber resin was the only species of trees, pines Pinites succinifer extinct in prehistoric times. This tree has bit crust found in amber. However, conducted in the 1980s studies have shown that the source of amber were several species of plants. But recent studies based on infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis of amber resin and modern living trees, proved the belonging to a family of conifers Sciadopityaceae. The only current member of this family is Sciadopitys verticillata, a species found only in Japan, but known in the fossil state from the territory of the whole Eurasia, and even from Greenland.

Jewelry created by nature – insects trapped in amber