Scientific American 24, 15.6.1867

Amber is found on the southern shore of the Baltic, where it isc ast up by the action of the groundswell after the northerly gales. It is also found on the coast of Sicily, on the Adriatic, on the English cost Norfolk and Suffolk, and at Cape Sable, Maryland. Mining for amber in beds of brown lignite is carried on in Prussia, and it is found in excavations all over Europe. Still amber continues to be the "gem of the sea," by which it is yielded only after a storm, and in such small quantities that its value has ever remained undiminished.

Amber is found in masses, irregularly shaped, and usually of small size. The color is of all shades, from a pale straw to deep orange. It is brittle but can be easily cut with a sharp knife, it is the opinion, and is only an opinion that it is simply an exhuded vegetable juice. Baron Leibig thinks it probable "that amber is a product of the decay of wax, or of some other substance allied to the fixed oils." Sir David Brewster says that amber is an indurated vegetable juice. Wood, leaves, flowers, and fruit have been found inclosed in amber, and recognized as having belonged to coniferous trees now extinct.

Sicilian amber is usually of a deeper color than that from the Baltic, and it is said that in Germany an experienced amber worker can determine the locality of amber from difierences in its appearance. Neither is it invariably found in a hard state. An instance is on record of a gentleman having received from a friend living on the Baltic coast a piece as soft as to take an impression of his seal; and another piece is described as soft on one aide and hard on the other.

The uses of amber are not very numerous. As a material for art carving nothing can be more beautiful. The principal market is Constantinople where it is made into pipe mouthpieces, and articles of female adornment in the shape of beads. The Turks and Armenians are said to be fine judges of amber, and the bazaar at Stamboul, where the amber workers are located, is full of interest to the connoisseur.

The only purpose to which it is applied in the useful arts is in the manufacture of varnishes for carriage builders and photographer's. That used for carriages is expensive, and is a long time in drying, but it is the hardest and most invulnerable of any known varnish.

— Providence Journal.

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