March / April
I am writing this sitting with a Campari and tonic in the Dominican Republic.
After I was so ill Jack booked an all inclusive break to convalesce . It has been over four years since our last holiday. A break both of us really needed.
The excitement over going somewhere new is always special. I had to immediately look up what sort of stones may be indigenous to the Dom R and to my delight there are two, with a couple of variations.
Larimar is a rare blue stone only found in Dom R. Its coloration varies from white, light blue, green/blue to deep blue, with many different patterns running through the stone. A blue stone was found on the island in 1916 but mining was not permitted then. In 1974 Miguel Mendez and Norman Rilling rediscovered the blue stone. The locals believed the stone came from the sea, in fact it was washed down the Bahoruco River into the sea. An upstream search revealed the range where the Los Chupaderos mine was formed. The stone is named after Miguels daughter Larissa and the Spanish word for sea mar hence Larimar.
The stone is very beautiful.
The link below is a very good way of seeing the different grades of the stone. However knowing that the stones vary so much in price I didn’t pay under $20 per stone and a few I paid over $120 for a couple. Keep an eye on my web for the jewellery!!
The other stone, which no one would associate with Dom R is amber. The method they use to mine it is by bell pitting. This is a very dangerous and unsafe method. The amber differs from the Baltic amber by being nearly always transparent it also has a higher number of fossil inclusions. The amber comes in a few different colours besides the obvious yellow and honey colours which are fairly common. There is also red and green in smaller quantities but the rarest is blue amber. Blue amber appears different when put on a light or dark background it has a blue haze to it, however when it is put under ultra violet light it becomes fluorescent.
Please check out the following web sites to find out more:
If you are coming out to the Dominican Republic, to the east side of the island to Punta Cana and you would like to purchase some Larimar or blue amber I found this shop called La Reina with exquisite stones:
The holiday was fantastic and really rejuvenated my spirit, mind, body and soul.
I love the whole island and the people were so happy and friendly, everything was ‘excellente’! I will be returning.