Fossilized pine resin, a transparent yellow, orange, or reddish-brown material from coniferous trees. It is amorphous, having a specific gravity of 1.05-1.10 and hardness of 2-2.5 on the Mohs scale, and has two varieties - gray and yellow. Amber was appreciated and popular in antiquity for its beauty and its supposed magical properties. The southeast coast of the Baltic Sea is its major source in Europe, with lesser sources near the North Sea and in the Mediterranean. Amber is washed up by the sea. There is evidence of a strong trade in amber up the Elbe, Vistula, Danube, and into the Adriatic Sea area. The trade began in the Early Bronze Age and expanded greatly with the Mycenaeans and again with the Iron Age peoples of Italy. The Phoenicians were also specialist traders in amber. The soft material was sometimes carved for beads and necklaces.