Kobrin district: Minerals

Amber

Amber is not a stone, not a mineral, and the fossil hardened pitch of the died-out coniferous trees which existed on Earth about 50 million years ago. It is called still succinite as the pine which of crude turpentine it was formed in Latin is called "pinus a suktsinifer".

The Baltic succinite is most widespread and popular. The largest field of amber in the Kaliningrad region has not equal neither on stocks, nor on concentration (on average 2 kg/m3). The amber combine in the settlement Amber gives about 90% of world production.

The sandy-argillaceous breed containing amber is called the blue earth thanks to the glaukonit which is its part which, by the way, serves as good internal clocks for definition of age of amber. The potassium isotope which is contained in a glaukonita in the course of radioactive decay forms a new element — argon. Knowing the rate of decay of isotope of potassium and amount of the argon which collected in a mineral, it is possible to count the number of years of the breed containing amber. For example, the age of breed on a site Seaside near Amber makes from 34 to 39 million years. The depth on it the blue earth makes 8-10 m.

The breeds containing amber are exposed to active influence of sea waves. The most ancient way of extraction of amber very simple: the pieces which are thrown out by the sea gathered people on the coast. Especially a lot of amber extorted the sea during so-called amber storms. By approximate calculations, sea waves annually cast ashore about 40 t. amber.

In 1800 in one storm day on the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea 150 barrels of semi-precious stone were collected ashore. After a night storm in 1862 about 2 t were collected ashore. amber. And around Amber locals collected the huge mass of amber which is thrown out by the sea in 1878 within several years.

Since 13th century amber not only was collected, but also caught nets in the sea. Men came on a belt into water and nets on eight-meter poles caught seaweed with the amber which got confused in them which women and children chose ashore.

From 18th century mine extraction of amber was made, later the preference was given to open-cast minings. The career way is used and now. Hydro monitors a powerful stream wash away the covering breeds under which is containing "blue earth" amber. The walking excavator selects "the blue earth" and pours it in heaps which then hydro monitors are washed away and turn into liquid gruel. Together with the amber which is contained in it this weight on pipelines goes to the concentrating factory located near a pit where amber is purified and sort special sieves on three fractions: more than 32 mm; from 32 to 18 mm; from 18 to 2 mm.

Fields near villages: Katasha, Hidra, bog Big Wood.

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