Home >> Grenada >> Read about >> Coincidental discovery: the green diamonds of the Carib Indians
Coincidental discovery: the green diamonds of the Carib Indians
Treasure maps never existed: from generation to generation the sages among the Carib Indians passed on their knowledge about where to find the green stones which were as valuable to them as diamonds. Yet together with the indigenous people this knowledge was lost.  Now a jeweller in Grenada has discovered a site by coincidence. He manufactures jewellery featuring Indian motifs from the material – yet even to experts the stone remains a mystery.

By Bernhard Grdseloff
Tough nut: jeweller Kachelriess with the raw stone,...
Tough nut: jeweller Kachelriess with the raw stone,...
...cut end product with gold.
...cut end product with gold.

“We buy up finds from the time of the indigenous people to prevent the stones from being taken abroad” says jeweller Eva Kachelriess. Time and again the owner of the jeweller’s chain ‘Lisa’s’was offered figures made of green stone. “Yet these were obviously forgeries,” she tells us. “At some stage a piece of archaeological literature indicated that green stones were very valuable to the Caribs.” 

Having become curious, Eva Kachelriess and her husband Lutz, a gemologist, set out to find the green diamonds. They traced back the forgeries and so came to the source of the real stones. At first the couple thought they had found olivine. Yet after having sent a sample to Germany, it turned out they had come across something so far unknown.

“The material is very difficult to work even with electrical cutters" the jewellery-makers report. In their workshop they make pendants and bracelets with gold settings from the green stones. “It must have been really hard going with the tools available to the Indians at the time”.

So far the rediscovered stone has no name. The jewellers’ couple would like to give it the old name used by the Caribs – which isn’t that easy, though: the Indians had a name for women’s jewellery made of the green stone - “Tacoúlaoüa”, and one for men’s jewellery - “Tlimáparacola Balou Balou”…
Antigua | Barbados | Barbuda | Basse Terre | Bequia | Canouan | Carriacou | Dominica | Grand Terre | Grenada | Grenadines | Guadeloupe | Guyana | Les Saintes | Marie Galante | Martinique
Palm Island | Petit St. Vincent | Saint Lucia | Saint Martin | St. Vincent | Tobago | Trinidad | Union Island |
About Us | Terms & Conditions | Become a partner | Contact