Learning Library

Larimar Gemstone

Currently only discovered on the popular holiday destination island  of  the  Dominican Republic, Larimar (also known as Lorimar) is a  subtle blue gemstone with an appearance similar to that of Turquoise.

Folklore  suggests  that  the  locals  used  to  find  ‘blue  rock’  on  the  beach  and  after  a  barren period, they decided to follow a stream up into the mountain and found the original source of  the rock. However, no one was able to obtain mining rights and in the early 1900’s the stones disappeared into the history books.

In  1974  a  local  called  Miguel  Mendez  rediscovered  the  gem  in  the  province  of  Barahona. Miguel decided to name his discovery  by combining his daughter’s name ‘Larissa’ with  the Spanish word for sea, ‘mar’. Today the Los  Chupaderos Mine is the only source of the gem  on the planet. It is located 10km from the city  of Barahona and in the rainforest mountainside  hundreds of small vertical mining shafts have  been created.

The gem is a variety of pectolite and it receives its blue colouring from the presence of cobalt. While  other  pale  colours  are  also  found, the  original  blue  Larimar  that  is  most  highly prized and which is set into jewellery. As a fairly  new gemstone there is little folklore or legend  surrounding it; however, the gem is also known  by locals as the Atlantis Stone, as it was once  claimed by a wise prophet that the Dominican  Republic  was  part  of  the  lost  continent  of  Atlantis.

Next time you visit the Caribbean on holiday, be  sure to take time to look in one of their jewellers  windows. Not only will you be amazed at how  seriously they take the displaying of coloured  gemstones compared to many European retailers,  you will almost certainly see a small selection of  pieces set with their local hero Larimar.


Back to Learning Library

123cts of Larimar from the

Dominican Republic