In November 1916, during a mining expedition in the Bahoruco mountain located in the Southwest of the Dominican Republic, the Priest Miguel Fuertes Loren along with a French geologist came across a blue-green stone, called by the locals "blue stone".
A bit of History
A few years later, this unique blue pectolite was rediscovered by Miguel Mendez (1974). They named the stone: Larimar. A combination of Mendez's daughter's name Larissa and Mar for the word sea in Spanish.
As time passed by, this gemstone would become one of the most important discoveries of the Dominican commercial geology.
Timidly, newly trained Dominican artisans started in the '80s to create Larimar and silver jewelry of regular shapes. Larimar bracelets, rings, pendants, earrings and necklaces, started to appear in the local gift shops and were successfully offered to the tourists visiting the Dominican Republic by that time.
But a stone like this can't go unnoticed
The beauty of this rare patterned blue color stone, its variety from light to deep blue shades, some adorned with white or grey hues, made Larimar jewelry very attractive outside the DR. It was only a matter o time, soon the demand for Larimar jewelry began to grow and the interest of foreign businessmen wanting to make their own Larimar jewelry brought them to the Dominican Republic, to buy rough Larimar stones, slabs and cabochons directly from the mine.
New Larimar jewelry designs appeared in the international market, competing with our classic and traditional Larimar designs. As time goes by more and more Larimar vendors are offering their products, mass-manufactured, being the internet the first marketplace.
For the past few years, buyers from China and India are the main and biggest Larimar raw stone consumers, acquiring large Larimar mixed quality of which low quality is the highest percentage. At the moment, a lot of low or bad quality Larimar is being offered in the market; good quality Larimar is becoming more scarce and dearer each day.
In the beginning, there were only 10 pits, but after buyers from China and India began demanding larger quantities of Larimar stone, more and more pits were made increasing the quantity to 46 pits as of today.
It is uncertain how long the Larimar mines will be productive. The supply of good quality Larimar will become more difficult every time. Back in 1992, the Mining Department of the Dominican Republic calculated a 25 years lifetime for our Larimar mines.
Larimar Specimens now the most wanted
Surprisingly, more and more Larimar specimen is being found in these pits of 100m deep, with a very intriguing mix of colors and material, like pink, red, black volcanic residues, transparent and milky hues and a variety of Larimar blue shades, all creating awesome patterns. As you might notice, we are fascinated with these specimens and are exalting these with unique designs!
We are working together with the Dominican Authorities trying to regulate how much of this Larimar is taken out of our country and furthermore the quality of the little Larimar that is left for our young artisans to make their living.