Friday, August 27, 2010

Mystical Beads - Amber

My mother's favorite pin 
Natural Amber set in gold.
     As a little child, I teethed on Yantar (Amber) beads strung amateurishly by my mother on a leather rope.  I would later reach up to catch the amber necklace she wore about her neck.  It was nugget after nugget strung very tightly  about her neck and I worried that she might choke, they were that snug.
     My female relatives wore the same type necklace as well.  When I was about 5 years old, a lady came to visit us and as she had the Amber necklace prominently displayed on her throat, I was sure she too was related.
     Yantar, as she called it,  was always something my mother would search for, when we went shopping, or if she happened upon a piece of jewelry someone else wore.  She would admire it and often ask if the wearer was willing to part with her specific treasure.  
     I knew the way to mom's heart very well and would always pick up a piece or two if I happened to find them as I traveled through life.  What I didn't understand then was why she admired Amber as much as she did.
     Although Amber is technically not a gemstone, it is non the less coveted and can be very pricey.  True Amber is fossilized tree resin that takes millions of years to produce.  The most famous resin is found in the Baltic States (Russia) and is known for it's clarity.  As resin begins sticky and soft, historically insects were sometimes caught in it's glue and therefore immortalized within it's shield over time.  The rarity of this situation makes these particular stones even more precious.
     One day, I discovered the English name for Yantar, Amber!  Now I am discovering the reason she was enthralled with this particular stone.
     Amber has been touted throughout history as a calming stone, the clarity and warmth of the bead brings out inner sharpness and protects one from negativity.
     Medically speaking, the stone has always been considered a medication for internal reversal of goiter, glandular and/or other internal organs.  It is an excellent natural antibiotic.

Lovely Amber necklace
on ETSY at 
     Mom grew up in Russia, being born almost 90 years ago.  In her childhood, goiter was a terrible disease that struck many innocent people.  The antidote was Amber.  Folklore believed that by wearing the stones tightly about the neck, one could avoid this terrible disability.  (We eat iodized salt in this country to avoid goiter problems). 
Bet ya didn't know that!
Child's teething beads at ETSY
     Teething a child on Amber was a tradition for two reasons, the natural medicinal properties of Amber could only enhance the healthy growth of any child that began life so lucky to have a mom that understood them and the warmth of the stones and their softness was exactly right for a teething child's uncomfortable situation allowing them much less pain. 
     Amber might not have been in your thoughts before, hopefully I have given you something new to think about...


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