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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 color.

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 mountain.

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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