Rarity The rarity of Larimar is legendary.
Found in only one square kilometer of the world, that is protected by a dense rainforest the only source of Larimar is a remote mountainous region of the Dominican Republic. Because of its rarity, few people have ever seen Larimar, and it is only recently that the Caribbean yielded its secret to us.
It is likely that the native Taino Indians knew of the stone a thousand years before Columbus arrived in the new world; however, it was not officially recognized until 1974 when samples were sent to the Smithsonian. The gemstone was given its name by a local artist. He called the stone Larimar, naming it after his beautiful daughter LARissa and MAR, the Spanish word for sea, which it resembles so closely.
There are many factors, which influenced the formation of this gemstone and these factors only occurred once in the entire history of the earth. Larimar is one of the most captivating gemstones that we know of; its exquisite beauty, unique color and extreme rarity all combine to make it a truly precious gem.
Because it is found in such a small area, the entire Larimar deposit is easily influenced by many factors. The most important of which are the terrain and natural occurrence of the stone. It is best to mine the stone by hand, dynamite or heavy machinery can destroy it. For this reason, Larimar a blue-graded gem variant of pectolite, is mined today by the sons of the same villagers that discovered the source of the stone 30 years ago.
Miners excavate using only hand tools to find and follow the small veins of Larimar. The best quality stone can be found up to a hundred feet below the surface, so digging through all of that rock naturally takes quite some time. The rainfall during the five-month hurricane season often closes the mines. Also, the mines flood and the mountain can unleash devastating mudslides. These factors all contribute to making the stone very difficult to excavate and limit the supply even further.
Once the miners have extracted the rock it must then be graded. It is quite normal for less than ten percent to be of jewelry quality. There are several features we use to grade the stone, such as color, patterning, chatoyance, luster, luminosity, clarity and translucence. There is no one particular factor that affects the grade; rather it is a combination of several factors. For example the depth of color alone may not be as important as the pattern and luminosity.
Color it comes in a wide variety of colors ranging from gentle greens to the deepest blue. It has been called the caribbean gemstone, not only because of the location it is found, but also because of the colors, which mimic perfectly the variations of color of the Caribbean Sea. The color variation and patterning (a result of the cooling effect during crystallization) are what make each and every stone so unique.
The raw stone is cut in the same village where the miners live, and often entire families are involved in the production of Larimar. The local lapidary artists evaluate each piece of stone individually, assessing how to cut it in a way that maximizes its natural beauty and form.
Once the stone has been cut, it is polished to bring out its natural luster. These finished gemstones are then sent to expert craftsmen where they are put into original settings. We offer you a variety of collections, many of which are limited editions that accent the beauty of Larimar with a variety of accent stones and precious metals.
Exclusitivity... only the finest 3 percent of stones find their home with our world premier Larimar collection. Each and every one of these stones is set by hand in stunning nickle-free sterling silver or gold. Every design is limited and meticulously crafted to last a lifetime.
< - - Care Larimar is a very hard and durable stone however certain chemicals such as those found in some cleaning supplies can "etch" the surface of the stone leaving it looking dull. Your jewelry can be maintained with a non abrasive jewelry cleaner, one that is rated for pearls, which will not damage your Larimar. We recommend purchasing a jewelry polishing cloth, they are quite inexpensive and will last a very long time. You can then buff each piece before you store it, this will remove any dirt and oils from your body, both of which will speed up the tarnishing process. Avoid exposing your Larimar jewelry to household detergents, especially bleach which can discolor the stone and the setting. Perfumes, cosmetics and hairspray can also damage jewelry as can chlorine in a swimming pool.
How you choose a piece of this gemstone depends very much on your own preferences. Everybody finds different aspects of the stone more desirable than others. Each one is as unique and individual as you are. Therefore we do not recommend purchasing Larimar products online.
Stop in today let us assist you with your purchase from our beautiful collection of Larimar set in sterling silver or gold: rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more. FACETS is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., year round - centrally located in Newport and easy to find, visit us at 1240 NW Grove Street. (just one street west of McDonald's Golden Arches), Newport, Oregon. For further information, stop in or phone the gallery showroom at (541) 265-2514.
Editors Note: This article is (c) 2006 - 2011 Marahlago, Inc.