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Dominican Republic Larimar|
Larimar is a beautiful blue gemstone that is only found in the Dominican
Republic. Its blue color is very similar to that of the tropical beach waters
and because of its appearance, it is frequently mistaken for turquoise. Larimar
stones are thought to have formed years ago as a result of volcanic eruptions.
It is theorized that as magma was forced from beneath the earth’s surface, it
mixed with a variety of substances such as aluminum compounds, sodium, calcium
and iron. This chemical mixture formed into what is known in geology as a
pectolite that is essentially a mineral occurring in radiated or fibrous or
crystalline masses. This is the cause for its unusual but beautiful bright blue
Because larimar is indigenous to the Dominican Republic and because of its
unusual beauty, there is naturally a lot of Dominican folklore surrounding it.
It is often looked upon as a powerful, spiritual stone. It is said to soothe,
heal and enlighten. It is supposed to enable one to view things from a different
perspective. The stone itself represents peace, clarity and love and is
recommended for people who are stressed. This is all undoubtedly due to its
tranquil blue color.
History of larimar
It is known that the ancient Tainos appreciated and valued amber but whether
they placed any value on larimar or not is not known. It is also believed that
despite larimar’s beauty, very little attention was paid to it until fairly
recently. The volcano where it originated, now dormant, is in the part of the
Dominican Republic known as Barahona which is a large town in the southwestern
part of the country. Documents from the Dominican Treasury Department reveal
that around one hundred years ago, a gentleman by the name of Miguel Domingo
Fuerte Loren applied for permission to begin excavating this area. Whether or
not he was granted permission is unknown but it appears that a mine was formed
and then the idea was abandoned and the area went largely unexplored until 1974.
In that year, two gentlemen, one a member of the United States Peace Corps and
the other a Dominican by the name of Miguel Mendez, reportedly found some blue
pebbles in this area. Apparently, they began wading up river in search of more
of the blue pebbles and in doing so, rediscovered the mine that Miguel Domingo
Fuerte Loren had abandoned years before. Within a year, exploitation of the area
restarted and today, there are hundreds of mine shafts extending deep into the
The gemstone was given its name by Mendez. The word larimar was created by
combining the beginning of Mendez’s daughter’s name Larissa with the word “mar”
which is the Spanish word for sea. Strangely enough, despite being in existence
for so long, up until that point the largely ignored gemstone had not been
officially named and the name larimar stuck.
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