Raw amber from Poland. How to find and how to buy Polish Natural Baltic Amber.
Raw amber can be purchased from many regions around the world. Historically the most valuable amber has come from the head of what the ancients called the amber road that was located in the city of Gdansk Poland.
Natural Baltic amber was once almost exclusively gathered on the beaches of the Baltic coast where the raw amber washed ashore. Today the demand for raw amber far exceeds the amount of amber that washes ashore. Amber is, therefore, gathered in other ways.
The term amber now includes many things. They are discussed at About Amber And Types of Amber
If you are interested in a place that you can buy raw amber, go to Raw And Tumbled Natural Baltic Amber
In Poland there were licensed amber mines that were able to supply the Polish silver and amber jewelry manufacturers with most of the amber that they needed. But due to burdensome environmental restrictions, these amber mines have been close because they are not profitable.
The Polish silver and amber jewelry business has not, however, been shut down because the amber mines were shut down.
It is estimated that in the forests bordering on the Baltic coast of Poland is sufficient raw baltic amber to supply the world's needs for one thousand years. Russia also has a huge amount of amber that can be mined.
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Because the Russians are not as concerned about the environment as are the Poles, they have a lot of raw amber. But because dealing with Russian amber traders has a reputation of being hazardous to both once business and health , Polish companies look to buying raw amber in Poland.
In Poland, small groups of people go into the forests and set up small temporary amber dredging mines. They pump water down into the ground and wash amber to the surface where they catch it in screens. These raw amber dredging operations come and go as the Polish authorities halfheartedly attempt to limit the environmental damage done by these illegal dredging operations.
The amber mining operators have their contacts in the Polish amber and silvery jewelry business and, as such, have ready buyers for all amber they are able to dredge from the forests of Poland. Little of the amber that these people dredge from the forests in Poland is offered on the open market either for internal use or export.
Because these illegal mines cannot satisfy the complete demand for amber in Poland, a regular, and quite reliable, source of smuggled amber has developed from Russia through Kaliningrad.
Raw amber comes from Russia, goes to Kaliningrad, and then is smuggled in suitcase or plastic shopping bag quantities across the border into Poland. The Polish authorities know that this chain exists and they pay lip service to stopping the trade. But they know that if they stop the smuggling of amber into Poland they will hurt the Polish silver and amber jewelry business.
Traders buy this amber from those people who know how to deal safely with the Russians. And because "everyone" knows where the amber has probably come from, it is not seen on the open market. "Don't display and we won't ask" seems to be the policy.
Therefore, the person and outside Poland looking to buy raw amber must understand that amber is in short supply, that the raw amber is generally available on order only, and that there are no discounts for large quantities of raw amber purchased.
Successful buyers of raw amber from Poland generally operate by a meeting face-to-face with a raw amber trader, cash in hand and a suitcase in the other hand. The buyer has to go to the trader at the location the trader designates. The trader is not always there.
It may take a couple meetings prior to a transaction taking place because the amber trader may have to make arrangements for a delivery of amber once he is sure that he has a cash buyer.
In some cases small amounts of raw amber can be found in shops or amber trade centers which amounts of raw amber are displayed more for novelty purposes than for sales.
If you click on these links you can download pdf files with detailed information about raw amber and how to order it.
There are also Amber Catalogs.
To contact suppliers directly, use the form at the Polish Product Information Center.
We do hope that this raw amber page has been helpful.
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