When you talk about rare and special gemstones, Dominican amber is right up there. Found extensively in the Dominican Republic, it has a class and niche of its own. It can be both blue and brownish yellow. You can obtain it as it is from a Sifter drop of 0.2%. Using it for crafting aquatic scarab gem is the common norm. Hymenaeaprotera is the extinct tree whose resin is the source of this Amber. It’s also probably the source of majority of amber in the tropics.
It’s pretty different from Baltic amber by dint of its transparency. It comprises a higher denomination of fossil remnants and inclusions. It enables the detailed reconstruction and structural synthesis of the ecosystem of an extinct tropical forest. There are some interesting facts of Dominican Amber that you find in the website of DR Fine Jewels which you won’t come across in normal textbooks.
- Assessing its age: A study conducted during the early 90s went back to a date harking 40 million years back. However, Poinar states this form of Amber dates from the phase of Oligocene and Miocene. It’s at least 25 million years old. The hardest and oldest amber comes from the hilly region of north Santiago.
- The places included: These places of northern Santiago include La Toca, La Cumbre, La Bucara and PlaoQeumado and Los Cacaos. These are mining sites, which are very viable in the region near to Santiago. You can also find Amber in the south-eastern flank of bayaguanalSabana de la Mar. You also have sub-fossils and copal in the Cotui deposits. The age is well within 280 years.
- Mining sites: Dominical republic has three primary mining sites for Amber. These are Sabana de la mar and bayaguana in the east and La Cordillera Septentrional in the northern flank.
- The northern derivative: In the north, the amber-nursing and producing unit is made from clastic rocks. They’re obtained by washing down the sandstone fragments alongside auxiliary sediments that pile up in a deltaic environment. This also happens in water of relative depth.
- The eastern range: In the eastern, you have the amber nestled in a sediment formation or cluster of organic and rich laminated bouts of sand and sandy clay along with inter-calated lignite. You also have some solvated beds of calcarenite and gravel. Both these areas can be a part of the similar sedimentary basin albeit disruptions from movements across major faults.
- The mining domain: The contextual Dominican blue amber is adroitly mined through a process called bell pitting. It’s an extremely dangerous process.
- About the process: Basically, the bell pit is a foxhole which you dig with available tools. You can start with machetes. Hammers, picks and shovels can come later. The pit can go as deep as it gets.It’s safe or vertical and horizontal sometimes.
- The last part: The slant slopes towards hilly sides before dropping away and joining up with various others. It goes right up before popping out.
- The Foxhole part: It indeed applies to the process and the pits are rarely large enough to hold you in. They make the entrance only.
- The miner’s part: They crawl on their knees in this base and use shovels, machetes and short-handled tools.
Despite the paucity of safety measures, you can put a pillar for holding the ceiling back. The area needs to be collapsed previously for this.