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Amber with Fossilized Flowers Unearthed in Dominican Republic

Stone with a Garden
A natural beauty has been unearthed in El Valle, Hato Mayor -- A 4oz ambar stone with fossilized flowers, with an estimated value of RD$ 1.2 millon (about U.S. $28,000). The precious stone was extracted from one of 12 mines in the community of El Cabao.

The "Stone with a Garden," as it is now known, is the most talked about news in the agricultural district of El Valle, according to Diario Libre, where many are said to have deviated from their usual employment, to digging holes in search of their own precious find.

El Valle is considered the capital of Amber in the Caribbean. The rain forests in this area of the national park Los Haïtises, are mined in search of this gemstone, which is a product of fossilized tree resin.

Today, the exploitation of amber has generated an economic boom in of El Valle, which until recently based most of its economy on agriculture and livestock.

But the extraction process has been met with much criticism by locals and environmentalist that oppose the indiscriminate digging of holes and tree cutting.