Larimar: An unequal stone
The larimar was discovered about thirty years ago, however from the time of its appearance it has been considered as a rare gem that is only able to be found in a place in the world, this is the case of the Dominican Republic. This stone not only stands out for its beautiful appearance, but also has quite particular characteristics that make it unique in its type.
This gem which is a variety of pectolite is composed largely of nectolite, acid hydrate of calcium silicate and sodium; although pectolite is able to be found in many places, in none it has the blue coloration, which is the main characteristic of larimar. Currently the only town on the planet where this gem is located is the province of Barahona, southwest of the Dominican Republic.
The story of the gem began in 1974 when a blue sand band attracted the attention of Miguel Mendez and Norman Rilling who were exploring a mine in Barahona and came across the stone. The origin of its name is due to the fact that Miguel Mendez associated the rock with the name of his daughter Larissa and combined it with the sea since the natives had the belief that this rock came from the sea. From 1979 the larimar stone was classified as a semiprecious stone.
Larimar stone is commonly associated in jewelry to silver; however, sometimes it increases its value by being combined with gold. To recognize the quality of this stone, it is considered that the deeper the blue tone of the stone, the more precious the stone is and therefore the greater value it has. There are multiple pieces of jewelry that combine the light tones of the stone with the darker ones in order to exhibit the versatility of it.
There are some of these stones in green, however these are usually considered low quality and not suitable for jewelry unless their tone is very intense. It is important to mention that pectolites are photosensitive, which explains why the larimar stone loses its tone and intensity over time.
It is very common to find pieces made with this stone, ranging from small earrings to beautiful and elaborate necklaces, throughout the national territory and a large part of the Caribbean. We remember once again that the greater the intensity of the stone, the greater its value, therefore it is very common to find clothes made in the shade of sky blue; while the darkest are reserved for large jewelers.