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About Minerals

Larimar

Larimar was originally discovered in the year 1916 in Bahoruco/Barahona, south west of the Dominican Republic, by the Spanish born priest Miguel Domingo Fuertes Loren, who reported this discovery to the Archbishop Nouel in Santo Domingo. No mining action was taken at that time. It was not until 1974 that the American Peace Corps Volunteer, Norman Rilling and the Dominican Miguel Mendez rediscovered this stone on the beaches of Barahona close to the alluvial of the river Bahoruco, This stone was analyzed by several geologists; also by the Smithsonian Institute in the USA, and they all agreed that it has of volcanic origin and belongs to the group of the pectolite with the exception that this is the only blue pectolite found until now.

The mines are located in the mountains of Bahoruco, approx. 7 km above the Caribbean Sea level, in the province of Barahona, south west of the Dominican Republic. Most mining is open pit with miners using only pick, shovel and hammer to break the weathered basalt in search of this pectolite. Efforts are being made by the Dominican government to modernize the mining system. The available quantity in the mines is unknown, which makes the supply of Larimar uncertain in the long run. This semi-precious stone was named after Mr. Mendez's daughter "Larissa" (Lari) and the Spanish word for sea "Mar".

Like the Caribbean Sea, Larimar reflects the different blue colors, from deep to light shades and jade green, often sparkled with the white and gray colors of the clouds in the sky, peppered now and then with red dendrites. Each piece of Larimar has its own beauty.

Red dendrite inclusions appear to be rare. Among the different minerals found in the Larimar stone are: iron, hematite, magnesium, phosphor, siliceous, and copper. Due to this the Larimar specimens are very intriguing with rare colorings, totally different form the traditional Larimar colors. Its hardness varies from 5 to 8 in Moh's scale and it depends also on the colorings of the stone, that is, the more intense blue or green the piece is, the harder Larimar becomes.

When polished, only 10% is left suitable for jewelry or just as polished stone. It is mainly used as semi-precious stone in artisan jewelry, set in sterling silver and gold.

Coming from an island with much humidity, Larimar can be placed in clean fresh water for a few hours to be cleaned and also to absorb some water. You might be surprised of the outcome, specially if your piece has become somewhat clear due to, for example, too long sun exposure. If possible, salt water should be avoided.