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Gemstone Spotlight: Larimar

Gemstone Spotlight: Larimar

Authored By DePaula Jewelers 0 Comment(s)

Gemstone Spotlight: Larimar

Larimar, also called "Stefilia's Stone", is a rare blue variety of the silicate mineral pectolite found only in the Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean. Its coloration varies from white, light-blue, green-blue to deep blue.

 

History

The Dominican Republic's Ministry of Mining records show that on 23 November 1916, Father Miguel Domingo Fuertes Loren of the Barahona Parish requested permission to explore and exploit the mine of a certain blue rock he had discovered. Pectolites were not yet known in the Dominican Republic, and the request was rejected.

In 1974, at the foot of the Bahoruco Range, the coastal province of Barahona, Miguel Méndez and Peace Corps volunteer Norman Rilling rediscovered Larimar on a beach. Natives, who believed the stone came from the sea, called the gem Blue Stone. Miguel took his young daughter's name Larissa and the Spanish word for sea (mar) and formed Larimar, by the colors of the water of the Caribbean Sea, where it was found. The few stones they found were alluvial sediment, washed into the sea by the Bahoruco River. An upstream search revealed the in situ outcrops in the range and soon the Los Chupaderos mine was formed.

 

Use In Jewelry

Larimar jewelry is offered to the public in the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere in the Caribbean as a local speciality. Most jewelry produced is set in silver, but sometimes high-grade larimar is also set in gold. It also has become available elsewhere. Some Far East manufacturers have started to use it in their production and buy large quantities of raw stones.

Quality grading is according to coloration and the typical mineral crystal configuration in the stone. Larimar also comes in green and even with red spots, brown strikes, etc., due to the presence of other minerals and/or oxidation. But the more intense the blue color and the contrast in the stone, the higher and rarer is the quality. The blue color is photosensitive and fades with time if exposed to too much light and heat.

 

For some of our beautiful larimar pieces, click here!



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