Larimar - Delivering Thoughts of Sea and Sand

Many of our designer friends love to leverage beautiful larimar and we wanted to provide you a bit of information about this striking gemstone. Larimar's striking blue and turquoise colors inspire thoughts of the sea making it a natural to be converted into jewelry. It's not named the "dolphin stone" for nothing.

This blue color can sometimes be mistaken for turquoise. 

Variations of Larimar

What is larimar?

Larimar is a relatively rare gemstone found only in a few locations in the Dominican Republic, where it was formed due to the volcanic activity. This rarity goes a long way to explain its price and appeal. In addition to its rarity, its unique coloring make it a natural for jewelry. 

(This interesting video runs about 5 minutes)

In technical terms, it is a fibrous pectolite and this compact material makes for wonderful cabochons. Its a surprisingly recent addition to jewelry making (relatively speaking) only coming on the scene in 1974. While pecolites can be found around the world, typically white or grey in color. It is only the larimar pectolite of the Dominican Republic that comes in blue.

Genuine larimar stones are opaque, cloudy and hazy. Light does not pass through a real larimar stone. Lift the stone up to a light (natural light works best) - and observe if light goes through the stone. If it does, that is an obvious sign that  the stone is a fake

 Larimar beaded earrings

 Larimar and Culture

 Larimar is thought to enlighten and heal as it stimulates the heart, throat, third eye and crown chakras facilitating inner wisdom and outer manifestation. Given its association with the throat chakra, wearing larimar as a necklace is especially potent. It represents peace and clarity, radiating healing and love energy. It is associated with the Zodiac signs of Leo and Pisces.

It is also sometimes called the worry stone as wearing it generates feelings of calm and relaxation due to its soft, silky texture. 

Larimar beaded serpentine bracelet

Care and Cleaning

Because the fibers that make up larimar are intertwined it has a jade like hardness. They are susceptible to scratches so rings, are probably not the best choice for this special stone unless the setting offers some protection. Larmiar is an excellent choice for earrings and necklaces. Some reference sites suggest avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun and heat.

Stones that are harder on the larimar (ranging from 4.5 - 6) such as quartz, diamond, and topaz will scratch it so be careful when storing your jewelry.

As far as cleaning, nothing complicated, some warm water, a soft brush and mild detergent. Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner with this stone. It is suggested not to let the larimar soak in the water as it has the potential to change color and get darker. On the flip side too much exposure to the sun will cause it to fade.

 

So if you want a piece that reminds you of the ocean, you'd be hard pressed to have a better option than larimar.

Further Reading:

Gemsociety.org - article on larimar

Jewelry Shopping Guide - Larimar

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