Larimar: The “Pearl of the South
What a nickname right?? The question is though, how did this blue stone get such a title? Let’s take a dive together and take a trip to the Caribbean!
Larimar is a rare blue variety of pectolite (a unique mineral with extremely slender crystals that are densely grouped and, when packed, result in thick, glob-like masses) that ranges in hue from bluish white to almost purple. Each example of this gorgeous gem tells a story and, much like a snowflake, no two pieces are exactly the same! Some pieces feature swirling mixtures of hues that come together to form a tie-dye appearance, while others display one striking hue that commands attention through its silky luster. It all depends on where and how that particular raw stone was cut. Regardless, no example of Larimar could be mistaken for any other gem. It is truly unique!
Most Larimar is set in silver, however some of the highest-grade cuts can be found in gold. Grading of Larimar is based on its coloration and its crystal formations within the piece. The higher the intensity of the blue, the higher grade it receives along with its rarity. It is offered to tourists in the Dominican Republic as a local specialty and they treat it as offering a piece of their land and heritage.
But where did Larimar come from?
Larimar is around today thanks to two men. The first, Father Miguel Domingo Fuertes Loren of the Barahona Parish, was denied the equipment and access he required to mine the stone that he had discovered in 1916. He brought his discovery forward only to be rejected due to pectolites not being a known substance in the Dominican Republic yet. Years later, our second discoverer Miguel Méndez set out to find the legendary blue stone and found a sample on a beach at the foot of the Bahoruco Mountain Range. He originally contemplated the name “Travelina” for his find, but decided on the name “Larimar,” combining the Spanish word for sea (mar) and his daughter’s name Larissa. Following the initial discovery, an upstream search found them where the Los Chupaderos mine now resides. This is the only place in the world where Larimar is found and mined! There’s no denying the stunning color that Larimar presents, and it’s no wonder why this gem resides in gorgeous Barahona… just look at that water! The Dominican Republic has simply stunning rivers and landscapes throughout, but Larimar chose the “Pearl of the South” Barahona to call home. Anyone who has seen these incredible blue-green Caribbean waters will agree that Larimar was the perfect name for the native stone. It is an enduring symbol of the Dominican Republic heritage still today and you can find samples of raw décor and polished jewelry across the country. If you are the adventurous type, you can go hiking through the mountains and along the beaches to take in the beauty of the landscape or, take a plunge into the mining experience! They will even give you your very own piece of Larimar! Be careful wearing this gem in the sun too long though, as its blue color is photosensitive and will fade in time if exposed to too much light and heat.
Why should I buy Larimar?
The short answer… because it is gorgeous and no one else will have one exactly like it! If you need more convincing than that, here are some reasons that owning Larimar can be beneficial to you.
- Larimar is said to promote peace, tranquility, and relaxation in the wearer and it can also be used as a worry stone.
- It can enhance your strength and boost courage within you.
- It helps you overcome fears, alleviate emotional stress, and allow you to let go of the past so you can live in the present with people who care about you.
- Larimar can also promote balance and help you maintain your equilibrium for those of us that are always tripping over air.
- Lastly, it can help with clear and effective communication.
If that all seems too good to be true, find yourself some Larimar and see for yourself! Whether or not it helps you from tripping over your feet, at least you will have a stunning gem with an incredible story.
Are you interested in purchasing Larimar? Browse Backroom Gems assortment here.