Amber - The gold of Fanø

The sea washes up many exciting things on the beach at Fanø. Between seaweed and shells you find the sea's gold - amber. Ready to pick up and take home.

If you have been skilled enough or lucky enough to find a beautiful piece of amber at the water's edge, then you are irrevocably sold to the hunt for amber. Most people are caught by the hunting instinct and an increasing "gold fever" when they discover that it is actually possible to find amber.  At the same time, hunting for amber is a great activity, when the weather is not warm enough for sunbathing.

Actually, raw and cold weather is best, which is when the amber is swept towards the shore.


Everything, also amber, floats best when the water is cold, and that is why summer is not a good season. During the winter, the weather is naturally marked by stronger wind and more storms, which is when amber as well as other substances are washed ashore. The secret, as most people know, lies partly in the direction of the wind. On Fanø, the right wind direction is from the southwest, but this will vary from place to place. As well, the wind can also be too fierce!


Only when the tide has pulled back is the hunting ground revealed. Many separate events have to fit together, but this is a large part of the pleasure. It is not a coincidence that the most experienced amber collectors find the best pieces, for they know exactly when and where the conditions are just right. However, there are no guarantees.

A good tip is to keep an eye out for seagulls. Where large flocks of seagulls gather on the shore chances are that mussels, vegetable matter and, very likely, amber have washed up on the beach.


The amber we find along the Danish coasts is called Baltic amber. This amber is between 30 and 50 million years old. The so-called amber forests once covered a large part of Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea areas. Today we know that the amber is old resin from extinct wood species, but earlier, there were many theories about the origins of amber.