Nature never ceases to amaze us with its hidden gems, and one such treasure is the captivating Larimar gemstone. Known for its serene blue hues reminiscent of the tranquil Caribbean waters, Larimar has garnered attention from jewelry enthusiasts and gemstone aficionados alike.
In this blog post, we will delve into the origins of Larimar, its mining process, and the various ways it is used in exquisite jewelry.
Larimar, also known as the "Atlantis Stone" or the "Dolphin Stone," is a rare gemstone found exclusively in the Dominican Republic, on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The story of Larimar's discovery and even it's name, is as fascinating as the gemstone itself.
In the early 20th century, a priest stumbled upon the beautiful blue in rocks he was walking over on the beaches and picked one up for closer inspection. He followed a trail up into a rocky outcrop and there in the seams, was the stunning blue gemstone, he then nicknamed 'Travelina.' In his excitement at the opportunities this beautiful stone could bring him, he requested local government support, to start mining the area. Until now, there was little or no industry, other than fishing and discovery could bring great wealth to him and the people of the island. His request was denied. 'Travelina's' prospects faded and disappeared into obscurity.
That was until 1974, when a local Dominican named Miguel Méndez, rediscovered the alluring stone while walking along the coastline. Like history repeating itself, he stumbled upon the beautiful blue stone scattered underfoot and picked it up, cleaned it and started looking around the area, to find it's origins. He was amazed to find that the gemstone was present in the volcanic tubes and lava flow seams all over the island. Méndez' daughter, Larissa, who had eyes the same colour as the gemstone, became his muse for the renaming of the gem, taking the beginning letters of her pretty name and adding the Spanish for ocean 'Mer' together to form what we know as the name today 'Larimar.'
typical larimar mine cut into the mountain side
The fortunate rediscovery and subsequent change in mining regulations, turned the gemstone into big business on the island and Larmiar became famous throughout the Caribbean and then much further afield throughout Europe and the world. So much so, that there is now a National Larimar Day on November 22nd each year, to celebrate it's discovery and the saving of the island's economy; turning it from a fishing island, into a world renowned destination.
Geologically, Larimar is a type of pectolite, a mineral composed primarily of calcium and sodium silicate. What makes Larimar unique is the presence of copper, which gives it its signature blue coloration. The gemstone's formation is linked to volcanic activity, specifically the eruption of the Los Chupaderos volcano millions of years ago.
Franki & Felix Larimar Voyage Ring in Sterling silver 925
Franki & Felix Larimar Voyage Icicle Drop Necklace
Larimar mining is a labor-intensive process that requires skilled miners and a deep understanding of the geological formations where the gemstone is found. The primary mining location is in the southwestern coastal region of the Dominican Republic, near the province of Barahona. The miners must identify the volcanic tubes and lava flows that contain Larimar deposits. Once a suitable area is identified, they employ various techniques, including open-pit mining and tunneling, to extract the gemstones from the volcanic rock. The process involves removing layers of overlying material, carefully extracting the rough Larimar, and then processing and refining it to reveal its true beauty.
Larimar's mesmerizing blue color and rarity have made it a sought-after gemstone in the world of jewelry. Its appearance ranges from pale blue to deep turquoise, often showcasing striking patterns resembling waves or swirls, further adding to its allure.
Franki & Felix Labyrinth Larimar silver bangle in sterling silver 925
The gemstone's natural beauty and soothing colors make it versatile, complementing various styles and occasions. Larimar jewelry is often designed to showcase the gemstone's unique patterns and colors, allowing wearers to carry a piece of the Caribbean's tranquil essence with them. It is not only valued for its aesthetic appeal but also carries symbolic and metaphysical significance. It is believed to promote serenity, tranquility, and emotional healing. Some people attribute Larimar with properties such as reducing stress, enhancing communication and fostering a deep sense of inner peace. It is also associated with the element of water, connecting wearers to their emotions and promoting a sense of calmness. A wonderful birthstone with all of these amazing properties, for those born mid February to mid March in the horoscope.
Larimar gemstones, with their mesmerizing beauty and rare origins, offer a glimpse into the captivating wonders of nature and continues to captivate the hearts and minds of those who appreciate its extraordinary allure.