All museums of amber are located in the Baltic states as it is mined industrially just in that region. So it is quite logical that one of the world`s largest and Russia`s only museum of amber is in Kaliningrad since the largest amber deposit (up to 90% of world reserves) is located in the nearby urban settlement Yantarny.
Amber is called «sun stone». It is used to make various decorations. However, it is not a precious stone but a semi-precious stone representing the fossil resin of ancient trees. They grew on our planet over 40 million years ago but then the climate began to change favouring the emerging of amber.
In the Baltic region amber was formed from the resin of coniferous trees so it has a characteristic yellow colour. In the other regions of the world amber was formed from the resin of some other trees. For example, in Central America they find amber of a beautiful blue colour, which was formed from the resin of locust trees.
At the Amber Museum several halls are occupied by the exposition showing how amber was formed for millions of years. The resin of trees is chemically unstable and eventually it rots but if the soil is dry and saturated with oxygen, the resin may turn into amber. Uncut stones are on display at the museum. The weight of the biggest of them is 4.28 kg. It is not the world`s largest stone but it is very impressive. The world`s largest stone was found on Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2014. It reached the weight of 47 kg. The second world`s largest stone, which is known as Burma Amber and weighs over 15 kg, is stored at the London Natural History Museum.
At the Kaliningrad Amber Museum a large exposition is devoted to amber specimens with petrified ancient insects. Such amber pieces have the highest value. Resin has a power to mummify entrapped insects, so the insects, which lived, say, 40-50 millions years ago, remain in their original form.
In several halls one can also see things from amber, such as jewellery, household stuff, various eating utensils, vases, bowls, etc. Of a particular value are the amber articles of the European masters of 17 century given to the Kaliningrad Amber Museum by the Armory of the Moscow Kremlin in 1978.
At the Amber Museum one can see the reconstructed fragments of the famous Amber Room from the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo, which was moved to Königsberg during World War II and disappeared. Some other museum halls are occupied by the exposition «Amber in the Work of Modern Artists». There one can see both the replicas of ancient amber items and the authentic items of 19 – the beginning of 20 century by Russian and European masters.
The Kaliningrad Amber Museum is located in the round Don`s Tower, which was included in the system of defense fortifications near the Royal Gate. The tower was named in honour of Field-Marshal Friedrich Karl von Don, a participant of liberating war against Napoleonic invasion.