Amber has been collected from the shores of Baltic Sea for thousands of years, and was one of the first substances to ever be used by man for decoration and medicinal purposes. It has been found as beads, amulets and carvings in archaeological sites throughout northern Europe dating back to 8000 BC, and was traded as far a field as Asia and the Mediterranean.
Pendants of Amber were thought to preserve chastity, and were regarded as talismans against the forces of darkness and evil - a tradition which survives in the use of Amber in rosary beads. Like the non-fossil tree resins frankincense, myrrh and copal, Amber was used as a fumigant to propitiate the gods and to dispel evil spirits as well as more worldly nuisances as mosquitoes. Ancient seafarers even burned Amber on their boats in hopes of keeping away sea serpents and other perils of the deep.
During the Middle Ages, it was regarded as a cure-all, and concoctions of powdered Amber and honey were prescribed for such diverse medical complaints as asthma, gout and the black plague. Amber has long been regarded as being highly sensual and magnetic. It can be worn to attract love, combat impotency and aid in conception. Amber worn as a necklace can act as a general protector of health especially in children.
Because of the many mysterious properties Amber possesses, it is one the most widely used and prized magical substances of all times.