Every Baltic city has an amber museum to reflect on the days when it was regarded as "Baltic gold" and served as the cornerstone of maritime trade, helping to bring wealth into Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Vilnius’s miniscule Amber Museum-Gallery (Gintaro Muziejus-Galerija) was opened in 1988 and is housed in the 15th-century basement of a Baroque house built 200 years later.
The collection showcases pieces of amber that are more than 50 million years old, as well as white, black, green and red varieties found along the Baltic shores. There are also several pieces with fossilized prehistoric insects trapped inside. The highlight of the collection is the reconstructed display of the fabled Treasure of Juodkrante, a stash of Stone Age amber jewelry discovered in the 1880s on the Curonian Spit, a peninsula shared by Lithuania and Kaliningrad in Russia. The ground-floor shop exhibits and sells contemporary amber jewelry, and there are daily displays of amber polishing.
The Amber Museum-gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Admission is free.