Crazy treasures Baltic
Any amber decoration, whether it is earrings or beads, begins with raw materials. The Kaliningrad region was lucky in this matter more than many others – in its territory, in the village of Palmniken (now amber), 90% of the global amber stock occurs. This figure excites the minds of many – and indeed, from where?
Amber fishing on the Kaliningrad Peninsula exists from the moment the first people appeared here. Collected hands off the coastline or caught a sacc of algae with the large slices of "solar stone" confused in them
There is a hypothesis that about 50 million years ago, climate changed significantly in these places. Due to the warming, the coniferous trees of the Scandinavian forests began to highlight the resin. The hardened resin was accumulated in the soil, and then washed away with streams and rivers. Rivers flowed into the sea, which existed on the site of the modern Kaliningrad region. Time passed, the sea changed dry, and now in its depths there are unpretentious wealth of antiquity.
Amber fishing on the Kaliningrad Peninsula exists from the moment the first people appeared here. Collected hands off the coastline or caught a sacc of algae with the large slices of "solar stone" confused in them.
Amazing the fact that still long before the deprane law, in the XIII century, the Teutonic Order banned the free catch of amber and introduced the punishment – the so-called amber court. And in 1781 the first mine was laid, and the mining of the precious mineral got on industrial rails. The largest heyday of the industry fell at the beginning of the XX century.
After the joining of Koenigsberg and the land adjacent to him in 1946, the USSR is departed in 1946. Grief defeated, but the joy of whether the winner? Leaving Palmniken, the Germans exploded mine and careers and carried out all the wisdom of prey and processing. The Soviet Union received an indispensable natural wealth and a complete lack of knowledge, how to contact this wealth.
From a room in a quarry
If the first way of industrial mining amber was mine, now the main career way is. Palmnichen quarry has existed since 1976, and today it is the most promising field. From the observation deck, greenish layers of clay soil are clearly visible – this is an amateurous breed, or "Blue Earth", as its local.
Career depth – 50 m, it is just the level of the "blue earth", from there and the production of breed is carried out. Works at the bottom of up to 130 people. Major Human Assistants – 600-ton-running excavators ESH 10/70 (where 70 – the length of the boom, and 10 – the bucket capacity), is divided with a group of journalists Chief Engineer Palmnichen Career.
During the conversation, we learn that the width of the career – 1200 m, the annual production is approximately 250 tons of amber, the deposits will be enough for another 250 years, and through the quarry it takes 1500 m 3 of water.
The greater the piece of "solar stone", the more expensive. Also most valuable specimens are considered light, matte, almost white amber
Doryav to the "Blue Earth", buckets of it form a cone – a high embankment, which is blurred using water cannons under pressure in 10 atmospheres. A mixture of ammantarone breed and water forms a pulp – a kind of mud stream, which flows to the place of filtration. Along this stream stands: in high rubber boots, armed with saches woven from a strong thread, they catch the largest amber, separating it from the pulp as a simple way. The mineral of the shallow fraction remains in the pulp and enters the enrichment unit, where the mechanical, and not manual way, choose even tiny pieces. The record of today is a stone 800 g. Outstanding instance!
From the career, the path of raw is straight in the processing shop. There Amber sorted by the size of fractions, quality and color. The greater the piece of "solar stone", the more expensive. Also most valuable specimens are considered light, matte, almost white amber.
Stones pass cutting, grinding, polishing, several stages of sorting in the intervals and fall on the table to those who collect products from them. At the plant there are three products: mass, limited and highly artistic production.
Work with amber requires a special approach and extreme caution, as the stone is very fragile. The large fraction of the mineral, broken in half, can lose in price not two, and ten times – such are the harsh realities of the market.
How to distinguish a real amber from the fake, if the trip to Kaliningrad is not planned, and the soul asks Bus? It turns out that it is very easy to identify the fake – it is enough to omit the mineral into a saturated salt solution
The last stage is the receipt of the finished product to the sales department, where the brooches, rings and souvenirs are located on skillful highlighted display cases. Total combine opened six stores, but outside the Kaliningrad region has not yet come out. Branded Tag with Golden Monogram Yak – product quality assurance.
How to distinguish a real amber from the fake, if the trip to Kaliningrad is not planned, and the soul asks Bus? It turns out that it is very easy to identify the fake – it is enough to omit the mineral into a saturated salt solution. The specific density of amber is below the density of the solution, and the real stone will pop up to the surface, and the fake will drown. This feature served as a reason for the development of a new mining system, more careful than a traditional career way. The first samples are carried out in the coastal area of the village amber and already give positive results.
Black Gold Stone
However, the development of the Baltic subsoil is deed not only by the Kaliningrad Combine. For many years, the so-called black diggers work in the region – people who illegally mining amber. And if now for them, the Ministry of Internal Affairs took a tightly, then until recently there were actually 90s: light money was drawn by adventurers, someone did a fortune, someone was delivered in gangster disassembly, someone fled abroad. But not to be seduced by a talleled piece was impossible.
In the Zelenograd area of the field of farmland, exacerbated along and across. Through every step – the round pit is a few meters deep with muddy albeit inside. On the edge of the holes sometimes there are untidy dressed people – the diggers themselves. Local representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, they have not been afraid for a long time, the punishment is limited to an administrative penalty of up to 5,000 rubles. and possibly confiscation of equipment – if you find. Hold illegal miners brazenly, answering questions in the spirit of offended adolescents, confident in their right.
– What are we doing here? Copy. Just dig a shovel. Hobbies we have. And there won guys on the kebab arrived. And what not? – Young predominantly men sit on the water edge and picked against the bright sun.
Continued history Read on Russia.Travel by reference.
And here is a fascinating and spectacular Longride of the "Science" channel and "My Planet" about the amber catchers and about the history of the recovery of Amber Room.