The island of Hispaniola contains some of the most amazing stones in the Caribbean.
Amber and Larimar are the most exciting rocks to find here and you may also find limestone, sandstone containing plant fossils, gold oxide, and limestone.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the geology of the Dominican Republic.
Types of Rocks in the Dominican Republic
The information provided in this article by YesDirt.com is for informational purposes and is subject to change. Laws are updated. Accessibility guidelines and restrictions change. Be sure to confirm the land status and collection rules before you travel to an unfamiliar location or collect any material.
The Dominican Republic is a popular destination for those seeking to add Larimar to their collection as it can only be found on this island.
Do not miss the other beautiful rocks that can be found on the island.
Amber and multiple forms of Olivette are plentiful on the island as well.
While there are many places to buy Larimar jewelry all over the island, finding a raw specimen for sale may be difficult.
Be sure to follow any local laws if you do discover any raw larimar as it is highly regulated.
Amber is found in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.
This is some of the oldest and clearest amber found on earth.
Amber in the Dominican Republic may be very light yellow, brown
Blue Amber, only found in the Dominican Republic, can be found in Palo Quemado and can be purchased inexpensively at the mines.
The mines have educational displays where you can learn more about the amazing amber deposits in the Dominican Republic.
There are also two amber museums in the Dominican Republic; the Museo del Ambar Dominicano and the Amber World Museum.
The displays show the properties of amber and show many many samples of amber.
There have been pieces of amber found with embedded insects, these finds inspired the novel Jurassic Park.
When trying to locate your own amber on the island, wake up early and head to the north shore, many collectors have had good luck finding raw amber here.
Also called The Stone of the Caribbean or Mermaid Stone is an exceedingly rare form of pectolite rock that is brilliantly blue.
Larimar is usually bright blue but can be white, light blue, blue-green to deep blue.
It is a type of pectolite that turns blue in the volcanic action in the presence of copper.
Larimar is formed from calcium and sodium and can only be found in the Bahoruco mountain range. This makes it a rare gem.
The stone has been discovered in no other location.
Larimar was recorded in 1916 when an explorer Father Miguel Domingo requested permission to mine in the mountains, but his request was denied.
In the 1970s the stone was named Larimar after the discoverer Miguel Mendez’s daughter Larissa and the Spanish word for sea (mar).
The stone was believed to have come from the sea.
Peridotite, particularly Dunite is a type of intrusive igneous rock that contains a lot of olivines, these fine-grained, green-colored stones contain high levels of magnesium and lower silica levels.
Dunite is more than 90% olivine giving it a very strong green color, and it is often found with chromium (a metallic stone that is primarily iron oxide).
These stones can sometimes hold peridot crystals that can be used in jewelry.
The crystals are green and they are the birthstone for August.
These stones can be found in the Cordella Central, in the center of the island.
Another olivine-containing stone is this picrite basalt that can be found in the Durate Complex.
Picrite is olivine-containing basalt that contains high levels of magnesium.
The stone is dark colored with visible green or yellow green phenocrysts or pockets.
Those stones that have larger more noticeable phenocrysts are called oceanite.
The stone is incredibly resistant to heat and melting and is used to protect surfaces from molton metals or on hot burners used in foundries.
Limestone is made up primarily of calcium from the skeletons and shells of marine life.
Limestone is a very common stone in the warm water of the Caribbean.
Limestone in the Dominican Republic is called Cervicos Limestone as it is found in the Cervicos formation which contains quite a few fossils.
You can identify fossiliferous limestone by finding smooth, discolored or prois sections of a light colored stone.
Limestone is a fine grained rock that can be white, gray, brown or yellow. It is a soft rock that can be scratched with a knife.
There are also limestone features of the island that have been shaped by karst action of the water and wind.
Gold Oxide is a bright red compound that is very stable at high temperatures.
You may find the bright red stone on the island.
The gold oxide has been found in the Dajabon province in the Dominican Republic.
It can be mined and used in gilding, manufacture of porcelain, and ceramic coatings on glass.
Gold is present in the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic.
This mine is the third largest gold mine in the world. It is a valuable business on the island and the presence of Gold allows for the formation of gold oxide.
There are some proposals to begin mining the oxide in the Dominican Republic.
The project is set to begin in July of 2022.
Sandstone is present in the Dominican Republic as it has been formed by the cementing together of sand grains into solid stone.
Sandstone maintains many properties of sand and it may feel like sandpaper to the touch.
Sandstone can be identified by observing the individual grains of sand with magnification.
The stone is a sedimentary rock that is made of primarily quartz sand.
Rocks on the Dominican Republic
Rock collectors will enjoy a trip to the Dominican Republic where you can find rare rocks on the beach.
The variety of ambers that are present on the island make for exciting rock hunting.
The Dominican Republic contains several nature preserves including:
- Santo Domingo National Botanic Garden
- Bahía de Las Águilas
- Isla Cabritos
- Enriquillo Lake National Park
- Los Haitises National Park
- Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve
- Jose del Carmen Ramirez National Park
- Jaragua National Park
Santo Domingo is one of the top 10 botanical gardens in the world, and it is a wonderful place to do some ecotourism.
Be sure to respect the rules and regulations posted in these beautiful protected parks.
The rules and regulations are different in each type of park, so be sure to obey all posted rules.
Declare any items you take with you from the Dominican Republic.
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