24th International Fair of Amber, Jewellery and Gemstones

Gdańsk, 22-25 March 2017

Press release download (pdf)


The title of the Amber Personality of the Year is awarded by the International Amber Association, with an Award Committee of the winners in the 18 previous editions selecting the new winner. The nominees include individuals who work for and contribute to the development of the amber industry: scholars, amber popularisers, managers, artists, designers and jewellers.

This year’s nominees:
• Krzysztof Bondaruk, Dorota Cenecka, Heidemarie Herb—jewellery designers
• Mariusz Drapikowski—artist, maker of sacred art
• Giedrus Guntorius—Manager, Amber Trip Trade Fair
• Zoya Kostyashova—researcher, Kaliningrad Amber Museum
• Dr hab. Aniela Matuszewska—researcher, University of Silesia, Department of Geo-chemistry, Mineralogy and Petrography.
In a two-stage vote, the title of the Amber Personality of the Year 2016 was awarded to Zoya Kostyashova, born in Belarus.

“The title of the Amber Personality of the Year means to me more than any other award presented to me for popularising amber in Russia. It is precious because it was awarded by industry colleagues—those, who know amber very well, understand and love it,”
Zoya Kostyashova commented on her AMBERIF distinction.
Zoya Kostyashova began working with amber 40 years ago, in her own words quite by accident: “I came to Russia in 1979. I dreamt about working as a psychologist but had no opportunity to progress in this direction. This is why I took a job at the History Museum, Kaliningrad, and it so happened that the Museum was just opening an Amber Department, to which I was assigned. It may not have been a coincidence, but perhaps destiny. It wasn’t straight away that I fell in love with amber but I do remember my first moment of fascination. It was when the main exhibition was being developed for the new department. The exhibition was designed by artists from St Petersburg and it was they who kindled a love for amber in me, by showing me its many faces. It is a remarkably rich material that can be used to make all sorts of things. So I have worked with the Kaliningrad Museum since the very beginning: I witnessed its first amber exhibition and later the transformation of the Department into an autonomous museum. I have worked to make it grow since then until today.”.

Zoya Kostyashova
researched the Kaliningrad Amber Factory, amber in 16th-18th century art, took part in the reconstruction of the Amber Room, researched the contemporary history of Baltic amber deposits the Sambia Peninsula and the problem of amber imitations. She wrote a monograph on The History of the Kaliningrad Amber Factory and some 100 research and popular science articles about amber, published in Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Spain and Lithuania. Since 2009, she has been the editor-in-chief of the Baltic Amber. Science. Culture. Economy scientific yearbook published by the Kaliningrad Amber Museum. She organises scientific conferences, workshops and exhibitions. In 2004-2009, she was the curator of Alatyr, the International Art Biennial for amber art.
In Poland, Zoya Kostyashova worked closely with Prof. Wiesław Gierłowski and Prof. Barbara Kosmowska-Ceranowicz, whose book Amber in Poland and in the World she translated into Russian. Since 2013, she has been a member of the World Amber Council established by the Mayor of Gdańsk.
Currently Zoya Kostiashova is working on a book in which she will sum up her many years of research on Sambian amber. She is also working towards equipping the Kaliningrad Amber Museum with a palaeontology centre and a laboratory.

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AMBERIF 2017 |
Dates: 22-24 March, 10:00-18:00 | 25 March, 10:00-17:00
Venue: AMBEREXPO Exhibition & Convention Centre, Żaglowa 11, Gdańsk, Poland
Organised by: MTG SA Gdańsk International Fair Co.
Project Director: Ewa Rachoń | | tel. +48 58 55 49 134

Polish Ministry of Development, Pomorskie Voivod, Marshal of the Pomorskie Voivodship, Mayor of Gdańsk

SRJ Association of Jewellery Experts, IAA International Amber Association, Pomeranian Skilled Craft Chamber of SMEs, STFZ Goldsmithing Artists’ Association, KIGB Polish Chamber of Amber Commerce, PTG Polish Electroplating Society, PTGEM Polish Gemmological Society, KGHM Polska Miedź SA