Amber Go!

By Jo Phillips

The trees sit tall, regal, their branches spreading out towards the sun, canopied below, sits the bark, the trunk, the roots. Sometimes they cry, tears golden, streaming down after a bite from an insect. Those tears fall and dry out over the bite until these wooden monoliths heal and no longer need to cry. These trees own versions of a scab. These opaque nuggets fall off into the earth where they sleep, preserved for millennia. Until the rains come and wash them down the river. Nature’s magical resin, ones that went on to build roads, ones well travelled crossing the Baltics; well ‘roads’ of sorts. Find out more in Amber Go! Here

Amber, this fossilized tree resin, appreciated for its colour and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Loved as a warm golden gemstone, but also known for its healing properties within folk medicine as well as its pine-like, musky, rich and honey-like smell used in the magical world of perfumery. Yet it has an important life in the world of travel, of goods transportation and now in the world of cars.

These glittering tears were often known as “the gold of the north”, and fell into northern seas waters where they washed up on the shores of Baltic Sea coasts and also rested in rivers over a period of thousands of years. So expensive it was even used in these areas as a currency.

Like the Silk Routes, a network of roads and crossings used by traders from the Han dynasty of China trading from 130 B.C.E. until 1453 C.E. the Amber routes are not so much different.

These links transferred Amber from coastal areas of the Baltic Sea. Prehistoric trade routes between Northern and Southern Europe were defined by the Amber trade. In Poland, there is even a north-south motorway officially named the Amber Highway.

Pieces of Amber were picked from the seafloor, cast up by the waves after heavy rains and storms. This was then transported from the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts overland by way of the Vistula River the longest in Poland and via the Dniepers one of the major transboundary rivers of Europe, rising near Smolensk, Russia. Carrying on through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea onwards to southern Europe Italy, onto the Middle East over a period of thousands of years.

Many thousands of years later these transport routes still hold strong. Long straight routes from Riga to Kaltene via the tallest trees to the coast still cut through the same domains that cut their teeth with the original transportation of these precious golden nuggets. And it is these roads that have now inspired a car. Not just any, one as rare and beautiful, one as unique as each piece of Amber found after years of keeping its beauty buried.

Meet the new Rolls-Royce inspired by this precious resin, the warm gold-like gemstone, the Ghost ‘Amber Roads’ Bespoke creation. A car as an ode to history, craft, innovation and unique beauty.

The car first presented to the world in Kaltene, Latvia, set on a natural jetty as the golden sun sunk past the edge of the sea, the very edge that juts out from the forest where Amber stones were often plucked fresh after storms. On this jetted self-called Easter Island, sits a white and copper Rolls-Royce Ghost.

The design Collective alongside the engineers and craftspeople took inspiration from the colours, textures and moods of this precious natural material to create Ghost ‘Amber Roads’.

For the exterior, the luxury car company developed two bespoke exterior colours that capture the very elements of Amber. Its warmth and lustrous character are explored via Lyrical Copper and Cornish White over Bronze in a two-tone finish. 

“Amber is a remarkable material. Unlike most other gemstones, it’s a fossil, so provides a tangible link with ancient life on Earth. With its minimalist character, Ghost provided the perfect blank canvas on which to capture this sense of timelessness, simplicity and enduring beauty. I’m delighted to know that these Bespoke masterpieces will delight their owners as they savour their own journeys and adventures across the Continent.”

Nicholas Rhodes, Bespoke Designer, Rolls-Royce

Open the door into luxury and be greeted by treadplates infused with subtle amber lighting, surrounded with fresh crisp white that is trimmed and finished in Dark Spice or Seashell with Armagnac and Mandarin stitching accents. The Mandarin steering wheel calls out to be driven. These inviting Amber tones with Cognac warmth, all with highlight trims of the brightest orange give a total modernity to the design ethos. These ancient roads explored within, accented with modernism by Rolls-Royce. Proudly sitting snugly, polished and proud, set into the central rotary dial, sits an exquisite piece of polished Amber.

And if that were not enough, the signature Starlight Headliner in this model is patterned as the ancient ‘Amber Roads’ delicately illustrated by fibre optic ‘stars’ in its roof. It is said it takes 18 hours to put these ‘stars’ in by hand. This also follows through subtly with ‘stars’ depicted on the illuminated dashboard panel.

This magnificent new collection, comprising just 12 examples from the Bespoke Collective only to be sold in European markets, is the latest luxurious and extravagant expression from this most renowned of British manufacturers.

The technical information for this particular Ghost stands at NEDCcorr (combined) CO2 emission: 343 g/km; Fuel consumption: 18.8 mpg / 15.0 l/100km; WLTP (combined) CO2 emission: 347-359 g/km; Fuel consumption: 17.9-18.6 mpg / 15.2-15.8 l/100km.

Open the door and ‘walk’ the Amber roads, in comfort, cocooned by the very essence of Rolls-Royce as it carries you on your highlighted journey, effortlessly. Gliding through this magical coast in a majestic car, one that is as exclusive as the now elusive nuggets of Amber.

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