9 Surprising Facts About Larimar

1. Larimar has not been found anywhere else in the world. The pectolite mineral from which Larimar is formed is actually white to gray in color and it is found in many places around the globe. However, the only place in the world where pectolite is the most desirable is in the Dominican Republic. The traces of copper contribute to this blue coloration.

2. Unfortunately, the extents of the deposits of Larimar have not yet been fully determined and for this reason, the current supply could become exhausted at any time. The intrinsic beauty and mystery of this semi-precious gemstones transcend its material value.

    3. In 1974, Dominican Miguel Méndez and Norman Rilling, a Peace Corps volunteer from the US, found larimar stones scattered on a beach along the coast of Barahona. These pieces were dragged into the ocean by the Bahoruco River. They named the stone “Lari-mar”. After Mendez’s daughter Larissa, and the Spanish word Mar, for sea.

    4. Others people have attributed the first discovery to Father Miguel Domingo Fuertes, a Priest from Barahona who in 1916 requested to mine the stones for commercial purposes. Unfortunately, his request was denied by the authorities at the time.

    5. The localization of this gemstone and its extraction depends on the identification of “tubes” or “chimneys” in which blue pectolite was pushed by hot gases and incandescent matter. Hence, these tubes’ exploitation forces the miner to excavate deeper and deeper into the old volcano. Until today, these holes have been transformed into a true network of mining tunnels.

     6. Just as the blue of the ocean is often used to symbolize tranquility, many believe that Larimar brings peace and serenity to those who own it. Larimar guards within itself the essence of air and water. The water, linked with birth, fertility, cleansing and heart's emotion; and the air that represents the mind’ s power, communication, and new life.

    7. Though locally abundant, Larimar is a very rare gem. Larimar is only found in only one square kilometer of dense rainforest in the Dominican Republic, Moreover, large stones with good color and quality are especially unusual to find.

    8. Larimar is mined with hand tools by local miners who dedicate their lives to do this. They have the expertise to excavate dozens of feet below the surface in rocky paths. It is also very dangerous to mined Larimar during the rainy season because of the dangers of mudslides. 

    9. There are different grades of Larimar. For example, pattern, color, and vibrancy determine the different grades of Larimar. Only 10% of this blue-graded gem is used for jewelry. 

    10. Bonus Fact. Larimar Gading Scale:

    • Below Grading: Dull color, brown inclusions present, no blue
    • A Grade: Dull color, minor inclusions present, Green and White color, very little blue tones
    • AA Grade: Good color, may include very small inclusions, more blue color than before, reduced but still mix of green and white color
    • AAA Grade: Great color, mixed blue tones is prevailing color, no inclusions, may include minor green color, white in vivid contrasting detail with pattern.
    • AAA+ Grade: Excellent color, no inclusions, no green tones, a mix of blue tones light and dark is prevailing color, white details enhance piece in interesting patterns