Viewing Stones of Indonesia

Indonesia is a large country consisting of approximately 17,500 islands making it the world’s largest archipelago. It is part of the well know “Ring of Fire” that forms an arch connecting western North America with Eastern Asia. Indonesia has a complex geology formed by several tectonic plates colliding with each other. As a result, this seismic active region has strong earthquakes and active volcanos. All of this translates into an area of great potential for viewing stones. That is becoming apparent in the exhibits of found native stones in this country.

In October, 2014, we participated in the Grand Indonesia Bonsai & Suiseki Exhibition held in Bandung and in Bali. An exhibition of 80 stones was included in the Bandung segment of this major event. From this and previous events, we can get a good indication of the types of stones that occur in this country. The country is rich is metamorphic and igneous stones resulting from numerous volcanic activities. This coupled with abundant rainfall that feeds numerous fast flowing rivers provides an environment where stones can be ground and shaped by water, and water laden with sand and gravel.

There are an impressive range of stone types in Indonesia. Obviously, there are many dark basaltic rocks, some of which form some of the finest water pool stones seen anywhere. In addition to these, many tan to brownish colored stone rich is silica dioxide are also collected. These are similar to the Yellow Wax stones of China. Ancient uplifted marine limestone that has been weathered by water are also used in Indonesian stone appreciation culture. Landscape and figure stones dominated the types collected and appreciated.

Stone appreciation is still in its infancy in Indonesia, particular if we exclude the stones that were used in religious activities. For example, there are two large stones representing male and female reproductive structures prominently displayed in the Hindu Temple Tirta Empul. These stones are worshiped as a means to increase fertility.

Indonesian stones are growing in popularity because of their excellent features and are generally less expensive than outstanding Chinese stones. As the stone prices continue to rise in China, more collectors are turning to Indonesia for excellent less expensive stones.

(Text and photographs copyrighted by VSANA).



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