Amber is one of the most famous jewelry and ornamental stones.
Since ancient times people have been attracted by its beauty and mystery.
The warmth and inner glow of the stone always gave it an enigmatic appearance, and when it became known that amber has also healing properties, it added to the admiration for them also a share of sacred trepidation.
In our time, every schoolboy knows that amber is the petrified resin of trees that existed many millions of years ago.
However, several centuries before it was not yet accurate confirmation, therefore, the controversy surrounding the origin of amber did not stop for a very long time.
There is nothing surprising in that the versions of the appearance on the Earth of the mysterious sunny pieces often took the form of myths, legends, fairy tales...

From ancient times the myths about Phaeton, with which many legends are connected, reached us, and one of them concerns amber.

The legend about Phaethon

A long time ago, Klymena, the daughter of the goddess Fedita, had a son called Phaeton.

His father was Helios, the god of the sun. People did not believe this and assured that Phaethon was the son of a mere mortal.

And then the young man decided to go to Helios and find out the truth himself.

The God of Sun meet Phaethon in his magnificent heavenly palace and comforted him, and said that he really had to be his father. And in support of this, he offered to fulfill one of his wishes, whatever he pleases.

And then Phaethon asked permission once to travel across the sky on the golden chariot of Helios. His father was horrified by this request, because in his chariot could not resist any of the gods, even Zeus.

He asked Phaethon to ask for something else, but the youth stubbornly stood his ground. Helios could not refuse this oath.

He fulfilled all the preparations and again asked his son to abandon his venture, which threatened him with a sure death. But Phaethon did not listen, he already grabbed the reins and, exulting, rushed to the sky on a golden chariot drawn by fiery horses.

But the elation of the son of Helios was short-lived. He did not have the strength to cope with the rushing horses, and they rushed, not feeling the strong hand of the master, having lost their usual way.

The fiery chariot came too close to the ground, and the flame from it began to set fire to the earth's surface: forests, fields, cities. The rivers and seas are dry from the heat. And then Gaia, goddess of the Earth, turned to Zeus with a request to save at least what was left on earth not burnt. 

Zeus, looked at what is happening to the Earth, and with one stroke of his lightning broke a fiery chariot. The horses rushed and fled in different directions. And the burning Phaethon fell from the sky into the river Eridan. The nymphs took out his body and buried it on the shore. The unfortunate Klimena searched for her son for a long time. Finding his tomb, she bitterly wept over her, and along with her wept over her brother's grave to her daughter-heliades. So they cried long and inconsolably, while the great gods did not turn the heliad into poplar. But in the shape of poplars they continued to cry, dropping drops of resin into the waters of the Eridan River. Drops from cold water froze and turned into golden, transparent pieces of amber.

This is an ancient mythology. It contains a clear allusion to the vegetable origin of the stone.

The largest quantity of amber is concentrated on the shores of the Baltic Sea. This fully explains the presence of its own version of the appearance of amber in the folklore of the Baltic States. For example, here's what the Lithuanian legends tell us.

The legend about Jurate and Castitis

In ancient, old times on the bottom of the Baltic Sea in a beautiful palace lived a sea goddess, who was called Jurate.

And on the seashore lived and fished a young and handsome guy named Castystis. He sang merry songs and snatched fish nets, picking up mud from the bottom and frightend favorite fish of Yurate.

The goddess sent mermaids to him, who gave the fisherman her order not to throw the net into the sea. But Castystis did not listen to the mermaids and continued to do his job. Yurate was angry and surfaced to the surface - to look at the one who dared not obey her order.

After seeing Castystis and hearing his voice, the goddess fell in love with a young fisherman. She took him to the seabed, to her magnificent palace, and made him her beloved.

And at that time, the most powerful of the gods was the formidable Perkūnas.

He learned that the goddess had allowed herself to fall in love with a mere mortal, and was terribly enraged.

He killed Castistis by striking his lightning, destroyed the palace of Jurate, and she herself was chained to the bottom of the sea by a golden chain.

Year after year goes, but the chain-bound goddess can not free herself.

And she is crying inconsolably over the dead Castistis, and the sea carries away her tears and throws them ashore in the form of cooled golden drops-pieces of amber.

In Lithuania, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, in Palanga, stands an unusual monument dedicated to the heroes of the ancient legend - the sea goddess Yurate and the fisherman Castitis.

The legend about bird Gauja

Once upon a time there was a powerful king.

Once he heard that there is a bird called Gauja on the seashore in the dense forest.

And she keeps in her nest a necklace of unparalleled beauty from an unknown golden-transparent stone.

And in every bead of that necklace you can see a wonderful live picture, nothing like that.

I wanted the king to possess a wonderful ornament. He sent the servant, ordering him to get the magic beads for him.

The servant went on the road, found the country where the bird lived, found a tree with its nest, took the necklace and went on the way back. He swims by the sea in a boat, sailed far from the shore and could not resist - he took out a magic necklace to admire them.

And so admiring that he did not notice how the bird of Gauja flew in, grabbed the thief with its claws, lifted it high into the sky and threw it down. The servant fell into the water, released the necklace out of fear, swam to the boat and hurried home.

Beads from the necklace crumbled in the water, fell to the bottom and after a while sprouted there.

A beautiful underwater forest grew out of them.

It draws from the depths of his branches to the sun, but it can not reach the surface of the water. And the underwater trees cry, dropping drops and tears, which turn into amber and are carried away by water, so that the waves carry them ashore.

And anyone who finds a piece of amber in the sand near the sea, can, having looked narrowly, see in it a wonderful picture that will open only to him.

And though the bird Gauja has for ever left from the country, in Latvia there is a river which bears its name.

As a matter of fact, in a reality and occurs - the fixed drops of resin at times carry in itself surprising finds and even great discoveries.

Shards of the sun

In those days when there were still no people on Earth, and even the time had not yet begun its non-stop running, there was an eternal day on earth, and there was eternal summer, because in the sky two suns shone then.

There was no darkness, no cold - only light and warmth. One sun was smaller and was higher, the second, large and heavy, shone almost above the earth itself.

Once the sky could not withstand the enormous gravity of the big sun and accidentally dropped it. And the luminary fell into the sea. Cold waves cooled it down while falling, and sharp rocks on the seabed split it into small pieces.

And on earth since then, the day and night began to change, summer and winter, because one sun did not have time to illuminate the Earth from all sides at the same time. And the sea began to bring to the shore small pieces of amber, in each of which there is still a drop of fixed sunlight.