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World amber-panning championships

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Eliminations to the 10th world amber-panning championships will be held this weekend in Gdansk and, over the next few days, in several other cities at the Baltic seaside. The final tournament is to take place next weekend in Jantar.

The Baltic Sea abounds with amber, as its area was covered by pine forests in prehistoric times. This semi-precious stone was formed during million years out of fossilized tree resin, which is the semi-solid amorphous organic substance secreted in pockets and canals through epithelial cells of the plant.

Amber occurs in a range of different colours from yellow and green to brown and black. Because tree resin  used to be soft and sticky, the stone may contain inclusions such as plant fragments, insects or even small vertebrates.

In folk medicine amber is believed to have special healing and protective properties. More information on the amber-panning championships at


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