I've read that one can find amber easily in the beaches in Gdansk. I believe it, but how to get to those beaches? Will anyone be offended if I go there and spend one hour looking for amber?
Nobody will be offended. It is a common practice among children to search for amber or shells. However I would not expect too much. Amber can be easily mistaken with other rocks and if you ever find something it would be rather of a small size.
The beaches along the whole coast are easily accessible and I can hardly believe in the existence of hot spots.
No, no one is going to be offended; In fact, it is a common practice, as already mentioned.
- The best time is just after the storm, especially during winter.
- I've heard some people go early in the morning for a search.
- Never underestimate the place. Sometimes you can find a lot of amber in crowded-looking part of beach.
- There are even some guys who dedicate themselves to searching for amber and then selling it to tourists. Similarly to those with metal detectors searching for lost goods at mediterranean beaches.
- You will generally find rather small pieces.
As I understand it, amber gets washed ashore and it is usually just little bits and pieces, probably nothing significant but a nice souvenir nonetheless.
Check Sopot beach. It is mentioned at the site that it has some amber from time to time. I believe you have the same chances of finding amber at any beach there.
Nobody will be offended if you look at a public beach and don't start digging large holes.
But be careful - after WW2, lots of unused ammunition was dumped into the Baltic, and sometimes fragments of phosphorous from incendiary bombs get washed ashore. Those look very much like amber, except they spontaneously combust when they get dry and warm. Quite a few people have suffered nasty burns because of this.
I'm not sure whether that's a problem in the Gdansk area, but better be safe than sorry: if you find anything that looks like amber, put it into a bag, not your pocket, and don't leave it in your car unattended.
As was said earlier, it is recomended to search for amber right after the storm when you a lot of new stuff can be found at the beach.
But there are several special events - Amber Collecting World Championships
Here is a short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWwfODp64p4
Event dates for 2013: http://www.polawianiebursztynu.pl/artykul/53