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The names of amber in different countries

29 March 2020

Succinite is another name for Baltic amber – the most recognized resin. For our ancestors, it was a tree sap and for this reason, they gave it the name sucinum. The same kind of fossil resin, but not the same variety, belongs to the amber called rivnieński, originating from Rivne (Ukraine). In Central Germany, the jewel is called as bitterfeld or saxonian.


In Western Ukraine and Germany, there are different types of fossil resins. They were given mineralogical names such as gedanit from the Latin name of Gdańsk – Gedanum, and stantienit and beckeryt from the names of the company’s owners – Stantien & Becker. The resin in Russia was given the name of gedano-succinite. In the area of central Germany, the name zygburgit originated from the city of Siegburg and goitszyt from the Goitsche amber mine.

The problem is to use the names of fossil resins that have not been tested so far. Does the regional name “amber” indicate its geographical origin?

The name “amber” in this case means only fossil resin, but not in the sense of succinite.

At the beginning of the 1990s, a fossil resin from the state of Sarawak in Malaysia was described. The explorers gave it the name of amber from Borneo. It is a fossil resin similar to European glessyt, although it is assigned to slightly different stem trees.

Terminological complexities resulting from language traditions can not be easily unraveled. These resins that can be processed will be referred to amber for a long time on the market. Another issue is the use of the Russian name “jantar” in Poland. Formerly, it was tried to introduce this name as Slavic. However, according to the research, it is the name of the Finno-Ugric origin, which was adopted in Russian.