GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PRODUCT
- Beautiful and Elegant Dominican Amber Gemstone Pendant. Which is unique in the entire world since the shape and natural designs of these stones are always different.
- 100% Genuine Dominican Amber Gemstone.
- 100% Genuine .925 Sterling Silver hook and backing.
- Handcrafted by Dominicans.
- Please see pictures to know size and weight information.
Amber is fossilized tree resin, which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects. Amber is used mainly as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry.
Tree resin takes millions of years literally to become Amber; first, the starting resin must be resistant to decay. Many trees produce resin, but in the majority of cases this deposit is broken down by physical and biological process. Exposure to sunlight, rain, and temperate extremes tends to disintegrate resin, and the process is assisted by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. For resin to survive long enough to become amber, it must be resistant to such forces or be produced under conditions that exclude them.
The oldest amber recovered dates to the Upper Carboniferous period (320 million years ago). Amber becomes abundant long after the Carboniferous, in the Early Cretaceous, 150 million years ago, when it is found in association with insects. The oldest amber with arthropod inclusions comes from the Levant, from Lebanon and Jordan. This amber, roughly 125–135 million years old, is considered of high scientific value, providing evidence of some of the oldest sampled ecosystems.
Amber is a unique preservational mode, preserving otherwise unfossilizable parts of organisms; as such it is helpful in the reconstruction of ecosystems as well as organisms; the chemical composition of the resin, however, is of limited utility in reconstructing the phylogenetic affinity of the resin producer. Amber sometimes contains animals or plant matter that became caught in the resin as it was secreted. Insects, spiders and even their webs, annelids, frogs, crustaceans, bacteria and amoebae, marine microfossils, wood, flowers and fruit, hair, feathers and other small organisms have been recovered in ambers dating to130 million years ago.
In August 2012, two mites preserved in amber were determined to be the oldest animals ever to have been found in the substance; the mites are 230 million years old and were discovered in north-eastern Italy.
Dominican amber is amber from the Dominican Republic. Resin from the extinct species Hymenaea protera is the source of Dominican amber and probably of most amber found in the tropics.
Dominican amber differentiates itself from Baltic amber by being nearly always transparent, and it has a higher number of fossil inclusions. This has enabled the detailed reconstruction of the ecosystem of a long-vanished tropical forest.
AGE AND DNA-STUDIES
A study in the early 1990s returned a date up to 40 million years old. However, according to Poinar, Dominican amber dates from Oligocene to Miocene, thus about 25 million years old. The oldest, and hardest of this amber comes from the mountain region north of Santiago. Amber has also been found in the south-eastern Bayaguana/Sabana de la Mar area.
In 1992 an investigation which its results were published in the British journal Medical Science Research, examined genetic material recovered from a 40-million-year-old extinct stingless bee called Proplebeia dominicana which Yields The Oldest Genetic Material. The study was conducted by Dr. George O. Poinar Jr., an entomologist at the University of California at Berkeley, with Dr. Raul J. Cano, a molecular biologist at the California Polytechnic Institute at San Luis Obispo, Dr. David W. Roubik of the Smithsonian Institution, and Hendrik N. Poinar, the son of Dr. Poinar.
Dominican amber especially Dominican blue amber – is mined through bell pitting, which is extremely dangerous. The bell pit is basically a foxhole dug with whatever tools are available. Machetes do the start, some shovels, picks and hammers may participate eventually. The pit itself goes as deep as possible or safe, sometimes vertical, sometimes horizontal, but never level. It snakes into hill sides, drops away, joins up with others, goes straight up and pops out elsewhere. ‘Foxhole’ applies indeed: rarely are the pits large enough to stand in, and then only at the entrance. Miners crawl around on their knees using short-handled picks, shovels and machetes.
There are little to no safety measures. A pillar or so may hold back the ceiling from time to time but only if the area has previously collapsed. Candles are the only source of light. Humidity inside the mines is at 100%. Since the holes are situated high on mountainsides and deep inside the mountains, the temperature is cool and bearable, but after several hours the air becomes stale. During rain the mines are forced to close. The holes fill up quickly with water, and there is little point in pumping it out again (although sometimes this is done) because the unsecured walls may crumble.
There are 3 main sites in 2 big regions in the Dominican Republic where amber is found: In the north region at La Cordillera Septentrional (by Santiago and its surroundings, the sites are called: “La Cumbre”, “La Toca”, “Palo Quemado”, “La Bucara”, and “Los Cacaos”) and in the east region at Bayaguana as well as Sabana de la Mar.
In the northern area, the amber-bearing unit is formed of clastic rocks, washed down with sandstone fragments and other sediments that accumulated in a deltaic environment, even in water of some depth. In the eastern area, the amber is found in a sediment formation of organic-rich laminated sand, sandy clay, intercalated lignite, and as well as some solvated beds of gravel and calcarenite.
Both areas seem to have been part of the same sedimentary basin but were later disrupted by movements along major faults.
Dominican amber can be found in many colors, besides the obvious amber. Yellow and honey colored are fairly common. There is also red and green in smaller quantities and the rare blue amber (fluorescent). The blue amber reportedly is found mostly in Palo Quemado mine south from La Cumbre. The Museo del Ambar Dominicano, in Puerto Plata, as well as the Amber World Museum in Santo Domingo have collections of amber specimens.