Types of Rocks Found In Jamaica: A Guide To The Most Common You’ll Spot

Do you plan on going on vacation to Jamaica soon?

If so, you might want to go rockhounding while visiting Jamaica, as numerous rocks and crystals can be found there.

The first thing you’ll need to do before you go is start learning what kind of rocks you’ll find in Jamaica.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the types of rocks in Jamaica.

Types of Rocks Found In Jamaica (A Guide)

Cretaceous Limestone

You might not know this, but the geology of Jamaica is formed of rocks between the Cretaceous to Neogene ages.

The Cretaceous period began 145.0 million years ago and ended 66 million years ago. 

So, if you go rockhounding in Jamaica, you might find some ancient rocks containing fossils.

Although the stone you’re going to want to lock for in Jamaica is limestone.

Limestone is a rock composed primarily of calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate.

These rocks commonly consist of fossilized shell fragments and tiny fossils. 

In many cases, these fossils can be seen by the unaided eye on the stone’s surface, but this is not always the case.

The grains of some limestone species are extremely fine.

The color of the limestone is usually gray, but it can also be white, yellow, or brown.

Limestone is quite soft, so it can easily be scratched. Also, any common acid will cause it to effervesce.

The texture and porosity of limestones may vary greatly; one may find calcite cementing whole or pieces of seashells together, or one may find oolitic limestones with pores so small they can only be seen under magnification.

People often collect limestone due to its benefits to the environment.

For example, one may use limestone in their lawn to make the grass greener or increase nutrient availability for their ponds. 

Also, people use it to build homes and add it in for decorations.

When collecting limestone, make sure to put it in a protective bag and away from rainwater.

Limestone can be delicate and easily deteriorate. 

Intrusive Igneous Materials

Intrusive igneous rocks crystallize below the surface of the Earth, where slow cooling leads to large crystal formation.

Examples of intrusive igneous rocks are listed below:

  • Diabase
  • Diorite
  • Gabbro
  • Granite
  • Pegmatite
  • Peridotite

Diabase is often used to describe a fine-grained dark gray to black rock.

The top is usually a lighter gray from weathering, while the bottom has a salt-and-pepper color from the minerals they have: plagioclase (white) and pyroxene (black).

It is usually found around sills, dikes, lopoliths, or laccoliths.

Diorite is an igneous rock type that is a mixture of granite and basalt.

In the continental crust, it usually forms in large intrusions, dikes, or sills.

Plagioclase is a sodium-rich mineral in diorite, accompanied by hornblende, biotite, and pyroxene to a lesser extent.

The mineral usually contains very little quartz.

Gabbro has a dark green or black color and is primarily made up of plagioclase and augite minerals.

The deep ocean crust is primarily made up of gabbro.

The main constituents of gabbro are plagioclase feldspar (labradorite or bytownite) and pyroxenes (augite). 

The color of gabbro is usually either black or very dark green due to this mineral composition.

However, there can also be a small amount of light-colored minerals present.

Quartz is very rare in gabbro, unlike many other igneous rocks.

The igneous rock granite is a light-colored rock with grains large enough to be seen without any help.

Magma crystallizes as it slowly cools beneath Earth’s surface. 

Quartz and feldspar make up most of the granite, with mica, amphiboles, and other minerals making up the remainder.

The composition of these minerals gives granite its characteristic red, pink, gray, or white color.

Pegmatite is an extreme igneous rock formed at the end of the crystallization process of magma.

Their severe nature is because they contain enormous crystals and minerals that are rarely found in other types of rocks. 

A rock must contain more than one centimeter of crystals to qualify as a “pegmatite.”

The mineral composition of a pegmatite has nothing to do with its name.

Peridotite is used to describe coarse-grained and dark-colored ultramafic igneous rocks. In peridotites, olivine is typically the primary mineral, often along with pyroxenes and amphiboles. 

There is very little quartz and feldspar in these rocks compared to other igneous rocks.

Peridotites can be valuable as diamond-source rocks since they contain the only ore of chromium, chromite.

Why do people collect intrusive igneous rocks?

At first thought, you might think that collecting these rocks is pointless, but it can be kind of cool to add these to your collection.

You should bring geology books or geological maps if you need help identifying intrusive igneous rocks.

Crystals 

Around Jamaica, you can find a variety of crystals native to the island.

Below you’ll discover three common crystals you’ll see in Jamaica.

Larimar

Located only in the Dominican Republic, the rare mineral Larimar is a blue variety of pectolite silicate in the Caribbean.

The coloration ranges from white to light-blue to green-blue to deep blue.

You might not see the stone while digging around the island, but you’ll surely see it in the shops of Jamaica.

Pectolite (calcium and sodium acid silicate hydrate) is a type of rock composed mainly of larimar or pectolite.

Several pectolite deposits exist throughout the world, but larimar is distinctive due to its volcanic blue color, caused by the substitution of copper for calcium. 

People use Larimar to bolster inner wisdom and outer manifestation by stimulating the heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakras.

The crystal symbolizes peace, clarity, and healing energy.

Stressed people are advised to handle and hold this stone.

Agate

An agate stone is a variety of Chalcedony, and it comes in a wide variety of colors and types.

Agate is usually translucent and often striped or speckled.

An agate stone is a beautiful gemstone for balancing mind, body, and spirit.

It is also helpful for calming the mind and bringing focus.

By using it, negative energy becomes positive.

The ability to concentrate, perceive, and analyze is enhanced with agate.

Jade 

The Jade stone is regarded as a stone of luck and happiness.

Nephrite and jadeite form the two minerals in jade.

Among these items, jadeite is sodium aluminum silicate, whereas nephrite is calcium magnesium silicate.

See also: Can Jadeite Go In Water?

Among its purported metaphysical benefits is the ability to increase fortune as well as grounding and maturing relationships.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, you can find many different types of rocks in Jamaica.

The island is known for its crystal clear water and its music, although no one should ever overlook the beautiful stones you can find on the island.

Interested in rockhounding and travel?

If so, you might check out:

We also have a growing library of articles for folks you want to learn more about how to collect rocks on international trips.

Types of Rocks Found In Jamaica