As the best kept secret of the Caribbean, Dominican Republic has all the resources necessary to be identified as a tropical paradise: beaches with different sand and sea water colors, lush vegetation, rivers, mountain ranges, with the highest peak of the Caribbean (3,098 m), lakes, among with the Enriquillo lake with the lowest point (29m below sea level) in the Caribbean, as well as, all sorts of caves.
But there is something more we are gifted with: A unique treasure, a pectolite with blue colors only obtainable in the Dominican Republic, the only source for this stone named Larimar by its second discoverers Miguel Mendez. Larimar, a combination of Larissa, his daughter’s name, and mar, the Spanish word for the sea! Its first discoverer was a Spanish priest by the name of Miguel D. Fuentes L. who did not succeed in arousing interest in this treasure.
In the seventies Mr. Mendez together with his co-discoverer Norman Rilling were impressed by this stone and had it analyzed by the Smithsonian Institute, where it was identified as a pectolite with a unique blue color; it has a hardness of 4.5 – 5 on the Mohs scale; considered as a semi-precious stone.
To make this Larimar stone more unique, it has been attributed healing properties of a different kind, persons believing in this have been known to wear Larimar jewelry, where the stone is in contact with the body, or to put Larimar nuggets in their pockets or under their pillows.
The additional names given to this stone related to its healing properties are Atlantis Stone and/or Dolphin Stone, connecting this stone to the lost continent of Atlantis.
The psychic and prophet Edgar Cayce (1877 – 1945), predicted that a “blue stone” with extraordinary healing attributes would be found on an island in the Caribbean, where he believed part of Atlantis could be found. Stefilia’s Stone is another name given to the Larimar Stone!!
The captivating blue beauty of Larimar with its high variety of light to deep ocean and sea blues, as well as, green-blue hues, with patterns designed by nature like shore breaks of white or light blue colors, achieving unique appearances, has stolen the hearts of many and making it attractive to invest.
American, Indian and Chinese are the main buyers of Larimar, most of the time having local intermediaries working for them, who will deal with the miners in favor of the investors, obtaining from both the miners as from the buyers very interesting commissions. Many times the miners reserve for these buyers top quality Larimar which they sell in lots containing besides the AAA quality also AA and A qualities for a rounded price in order to sell them all.
Larimar bought by Chinese and Indian customers are worked in their countries, but the Larimar stones bought by customers from the USA, are worked mainly in Thailand, Indonesia and India, where artisans with lifelong experience inherited from their family make beautiful Larimar silver jewelry with art characteristic of that region. The silver work is artistically elaborated with typical designs of their place, many time combined with precious and semi-precious gems increasing the price of the Larimar jewelry piece.
Dominican silversmiths are practically new in this art, introduced in the Dominican Republic in the fifties, during the dictatorship of Trujillo, in order to produce Amber jewelry with 925 silver.
The designs of Dominican jewelry are of simple lines, charming, attractive and beautiful, appropriate for any age, any time, any outfit.
Pear-shaped, teardrop and oval forms are the most popular symmetrical pieces Dominican artisans produce, but they prefer to make more irregular shape cabochons to take advantage of the Larimar slab, creating beautiful pendants, rings, bracelets and necklaces, impregnating every finished Larimar jewel with the real essence of the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican government has installed an artisan school in the area of Barahona to teach the locals the skill of producing top quality Larimar jewelry and motivate foreign Larimar stone buyers to make their jewelry in the Dominican Republic so that these young men can make a living with this art and get out of poverty, benefiting from the fact that this unique, rare Larimar stone is only mined in our country.
Contrary to what many might think, Dominican artisans are better paid than artisans in the other countries where the Larimar stone is taken to produce jewelry; with every Larimar jewel sold in or from the Dominican Republic, almost thousand families are supported with the benefit of the Larimar business. The Dominican Republic has declared Larimar as its national stone, forming part of the culture, tourism and artisan business of the Dominican Republic; LARIMAR is THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.