As far as gemstones go, Larimar is a relative newcomer to the scene and still not widely used. It was first discovered in 1916 by Father Miguel Domingo Fuertes Loren, but when he filed for a mining claim, it was rejected. Legend has it that it was then forgotten. In 1974, a Peace Corps volunteer, Norman Rilling and a Dominican Republic native, Miguel Menendez, found some Larimar on the beach. The locals had long believed that Larimar came from the sea and gave it the name Blue Stone. The stones found on the beach were alluvial sediment which had been washed into the sea by the Bahoruco River. The tumbling action of the water polished the stones so the beautiful blue showed and made the easily distinguishable from the river rocks. An upstream search revealed the source and soon, the Los Chupaderos mine was formed. The name comes from a combination of Larissa, "Lar", which is the name of Menendez's daughter and "mar" which is Spanish for sea.
Larimar is a variety of pectolite, an acid silicate hydrate of calcium and sodium. Pectolite is found around the world, but none have the distinct volcanic blue that Larimar has. Pectolite is usually a soft, delicate mineral composed of dense, radiating fibers, but sometimes the fibers are tough and interlock to form a much stronger stone. The blue color is the result of cobalt substitution for calcium and coppper. It is rarely a solid blue, but has white interconnecting lines and sometimes rough circles. Larimar is only found in the Dominican Republic. The more intense the blue and the contrasts in the stone, the more valuable it is. Larimar is photosensitive and the blue will fade if exposed to strong sunlight for a long period of time.
Larimar is not treated or enhanced, but sometimes white gemstones are dyed to look like Larimar.
On the Moh scale, it has a hardness of between 5-7, with the darker blue stones being closer to 7.
It is believed that Larimar can help view events from different perspectives, and can heal the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual body. It is also said to be helpful for those with stress and anxiety. Larimar is said to represent peace and clarity, healing and love.
These are photos of some earrings I made for myself using some Larimar 10mm beads and some facted Aquamarine. The stones were a gift from a wonderful friend who was clearing out someof her stash. Thanks, Margaret, of Bohowirewrapped .