There’s no need to wander around Warsaw agonizing over the perfect travel treasure to bring home. Amber is the easy standout aesthetically, historically – even scientifically. Neither precious stone nor glass, amber is actually resin from 40-million-year-old coniferous trees, and the Baltic region is home to one of the world’s largest deposits.
The tradition of working with amber in Poland isn’t quite that old, but in the 15th century, the port city of Gdansk was known throughout Europe as the place to get yourself a hunk of artisanal succinite.
Today Krakow’s Cloth Hall market is another abundant source, but in the capital you have the benefit of high-end shops where quality is not in question. Neither is beauty – whether crafted into rings, egg-shaped weights or cufflinks, the best pieces pair contemporary design with a partially transparent butterscotch hue so unique they named a colour after it. Pieces from about $60 at jubilerschubert.pl.