You know all about extraordinary diamonds, and other such beautifully crafted gemstones.
You’re even known to wear a little bling yourself.
So, you’ll be pretty piqued to hear that this is officially the most valuable amber in the world.
And because we know that you love jewelry almost as much as Zsa Zsa Gabor, you will receive VIP treatment during your tour here.
You might want to RSVP quickly. Very.
Meet the people in Buzau Mountains. They dwell on a treasure they live from since forever !Few million years passing over few drops of resin from a pine and voila !
These can be even more valuable than gold, infatuating jewelers and treasure hunters.
Shinning in 160 shades – from yellow to black – the fossilized resin worshiped since prehistoric times is rare.
Legends say amber amulets have therapeutic properties, attract luck and protect.
Some never found even a single little piece of amber in their entire life.
That is because they had to know a lot of secrets.
You have to look ALONE after charcoal filaments that form around amber nest, FEEL it and be LUCKY.
There are 4 well-known amber varieties:
– Baltic (the most common, the largest amber in the world weighting 32 kg is Baltic),
– Burmese and
– black (the world’s most valuable one, found exclusively in Carpathian Mountains, Romania, and Sakhalin Island, Russia).
Baltic amber is about 40,000 years younger than black amber.
The only place in Romania where amber hides in subsoil and brooks’ beds is Colti (meaning Fangs).
First documentary attestation of amber in Romania dates back to 16th century.
Then Mihnea Voivode and his lady donated a door encrusted with amber chunks to a church.
Until interwar period, torrential rains uncovered amber pieces, really making happy the needies went on the mountain !
Colti is the only place in the world where people industrially extracted amber from underground mines.
Nowadays only locals knowing the former mines still find amber, exploited since 19th century but extensively only since 20th century.
Find about world’s most famous amber gifts
Jewelers from all over the world fought on Romanian amber.
In 1927, Queen of England received a Colti amber cameo with drops of water and fossilized insects.
In 1951, Stalin received his famous pipe, also made of Colti amber, from Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej.
By the way, the local who sold the 200 g gemstone is still waiting for his money !
The 8th wonder of the worldOne of the most valuable amber art works in history, Amber Room built in 1701, symbolized Russian-Prussian friendship.
Assembled in Berlin, this impressed Tsar Peter the Great of Russian Empire during his visit to King Friedrich I of Prussia.
The King offered it to the Tsar, Russians installing the masterpiece at Winter Palace in Sankt Petersburg.
After 18th century restorations it reached to cover tens of square meters and weighted few tons.
In 1941, German soldiers sent to Soviet Union robbed thousands of works of art. Including Amber Room, considered by Nazis made by Germans, so for Germans.
Winter Palace curators could not move it without crumbling the dried out amber, so they hide it behind mundane wallpaper.
But they did not trick the Nazis who sent it to Konigsberg in a museum-castle, where it remain until 1943.
After WWII, nobody succeeded to find the several tons of amber anymore.
Most likely Allies destroyed it during the 1944 bombing of the castle.
Unless it is still under the castle, completely destroyed only in 1968 by Soviet Premier Leonid Breznev.
Or deposited on Baltic Sea bottom.
Or perhaps Germans actually stole a false Amber Room that Stalin owned.
Decades later, Soviet state reconstructed Amber Room in 24 years, with German government’s help and some… Colti amber.
Since 2003, Catherine’s Palace – nearby St. Petersburg – hosts Amber Room, evaluated in 2016 at over 500 million dollars.
Visit Colti Museum and see Elena Ceausescu’s amber jewelry
Black amber cheered kings and dictators but not also the Romanian communist leaders who closed Colti mines during 1948 nationalization.
Although prohibited, there were attempts of amber industrial exploitation until '80s.
Thus, Colti jewelers became renowned even in the famous Cabinet 2, Elena Ceausescu being crazy about amber jewels.
She wore almost everywhere the set of amber jewelry received as gift in 1987 from Colti inhabitants.
Follow the Amber Road towards Colti Amber Museum open in the ’70s to see one of her amber necklaces.
One of the fewest in the world, this museum is second in Europe and unique in Romania.
Here you will see also:
- the oldest amber of 60 million years ago,
- Colti most valuable piece (a lump of almost 2 kg and about 17,000 Euro),
- a black amber earring preserving in it an ant that according to specialists lived 30 million years ago and
- a mine dug exclusively for tourist purposes.
See you all back here soon for more tips, picked expressly for you.
Meanwhile feel free to address me any question you might have about Romania.
And to share this with anyone who might find it useful or interesting 😉
Happy tours !
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