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Dominican Republic

This Caribbean island is famed for its bright blue skies and sea, but it is also home to some very popular gemstones.

Known as a holiday destination in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is also a large producer of Amber, where most of its mines are near the city of Santiago. Unfortunately, over recent years the amount of gems they are recovering has diminished. Some reports even suggest that over the past 25 years, yields have dropped by as much as 80%. As well as the more traditional orange Amber, Santiago is also currently producing around 2,500 carats of blue Amber per month.
The island also mines Larimar: a blue gemstone that looks similar to Turquoise and has yet to be found in any other country in the world. Although locals have been aware of the gem for centuries, it wasn’t until 1974 that it became known to the gem world.

After finding the gem, a gentleman called Miguel Mendez named it by combining his daughter’s name Larissa and the Spanish word for sea, “mar”. After his initial discovery on the beach he followed a stream inland, where he discovered the gem set in a host rock. Today the Los Chupaderos mines are still the only known source of Larimar.

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Larimar is exclusively found in the Dominican Republic.