According to the myth, Phaethon, brother of the Heliades (tree nymphs), died while driving his father’s chariot in the skies. The Heliades could not bear the pain of their brother’s loss, they grieved for him day and night, so the gods decided to turn them into poplar trees and their tears into amber.
In Yantarni, an urban locality in the Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania) you can find the famous Primorskaya mine, where the Amber Combine extracts up to 400 tons of amber per year. It is the only official source of amber in Russia, to date. Back in 1945, the Soviet Union managed to claim the land of Kaliningrad (formerly known as Königsberg) from the Nazi-ridden Germany. The Germans were considered the pioneers of the amber industry in this area, also known as East Prussia.
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People, since the ancient times, would always put faith in natural materials like beads or into the spirituality behind the meaning of shapes like the circle. They used to believe that a few beads tightly tied on a string would bring good fortune, break spells, drive all sicknesses away and show how faithful they are to their own God and Creator. The use of prayer beads (the rosary, as we call it nowadays) differs depending on peoples’ culture and religion. However, in every corner of this planet, all kinds of different civilizations, from the Inkas and the Mayas to the Indian sects and the Greeks, would include as part of their culture some type of a set of worry beads (kompoloi).