Referring to centuries-old traditions of trade in amber, already used in pre-historic times by southern civilisations, and to Gdańsk traditions of amber crafts developing from the Neolithic through the early Middle Ages to flourish in the 16th and 17th century – the World Capital of Amber has been founded today by the unification of amber environments,’ reads the Association Founding Act signed in Gdańsk in 2006. Members of the International Amber Association, as members of the Council of this initiative, support the promotion of Baltic amber with their knowledge, experience and even love. It is the latter which has helped the Association grow since 1996 and gather over 300 members over the years.
To answer the need of common representation, the International Amber Association is involved in activities supporting producers and designers of amber jewellery, artists, researchers dealing with fossil resin, and recently enthusiasts of ‘Baltic gold’, who dedicate their time and energy to design interiors or promote tourist offers. Therefore, when popular international fashion brands have been investing in promoting the product for years, we are using over a thousand years old tradition of Pomerania to showcase our unique amber attractiveness on many levels. Members of the Association take part in the biggest amber jewellery exhibitions in the world (Amberif is held in Gdańsk every year), qualified experts from the Association have drawn up a classification of Baltic amber, we carry out laboratory tests of amber and provide certificates for its authenticity, jointly prepare promotional stands for international exhibitions and support national fashion stands with our knowledge. For example, Asians from such countries as China, Malesia, Thailand and Japan see amber as special since they believe in its healing energy. Few people know that next to the cabinet of souvenirs of the first President, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in the Museum of the United Arab Emirates, there is his amber rosary, because, in Arab countries, amber is used mostly in religious accessories. In the United States, amber is known and used as an accessory (even a heroine of Netflix hit series ‘Grace & Frankie’ wears amber!).
At present, we wish to showcase Baltic amber as a part of modern jewellery as well as works of talented artists, locating amber decorations in elegant living rooms, offices or hotels to promote Pomerania and Poland, which is strongly associated with amber. We intend to hold a series of meetings with stylists, whom we would like to encourage to use amber in photo shoots, on film sets or at galas. Given the associations and the recent promotion of Poland at EXPO 2020 Dubai, which is the biggest amber event in the Middle East in recent years, during this year’s Bridge Show exhibition, we were carefully observing how the participants reacted to the offer of Pomeranian designers. The most frequently asked question was ‘where we can find a gallery with your jewellery.’ This means that the ‘joy of less’ trend loses to the eternal desire to stand out.
‘After decades of low quality, now we are desperately looking for high quality’ – we believe that this is provided by Polish artists preserving over a thousand years old traditions of working with delicate resin, which is undoubtedly Baltic amber.