According to legend, amber—or gintaras as it’s known locally—originates from the tears of the sea goddess Jūratė. Scientists on the other hand think differently. Some 40 million years ago the earth warmed up, causing an increase in the secretion of pine resin in the region’s forests. Streams of this resin swept through rivers and into the Baltic Sea, sometimes picking up a stray insect along the way. It’s this fossilised resin that now sits off the Baltic coasts of Kaliningrad, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. Ask most people and they’ll tell you amber’s the colour of... amber. Closer inspection sees it coming in a wealth of colours including blue, black, white and yellow. White amber is called royal amber (karališkas gintaras) and is widely available in Lithuania. Blue and black amber are rarer. Fashioned into everything from jewellery to carved ships, amber makes a perfect and unique gift or souvenir and can be bought in several places on the coast. We only recommend the places where you’re guaranteed to get the real stuff.