Gemstones

Experience the Class and Uniqueness of Larimar Jewelry

 

If you have a preference for blue gemstones, you'll find a new favorite in larimar jewelry. This stone has a distinctive milky blue color that seems to mirror the ocean surroundings of its place of origin. Its rarity and unusual luster make it a gorgeous accessory for both fancy and simple attire. Whether set alone as a centerpiece or paired with other gems, larimar jewelry has a striking quality that sparks interest and conversation.

 
Larimar Filigree Circle Drop Earrings in Sterling Silver. #947516

The Origin of Larimar Gemstones

Larimar is a rare gemstone found only in the Dominican Republic, a small part of the Caribbean. It is located in the southwest mountains of the island nation and is mined from vertical shafts of more than 500 feet down. This rarity makes it valuable, as does its unique cloudy blue and white color. This unusual color comes from cobalt that's in the volcanic pectolite. Larimar stones may also show up in rivers when geological events, such as an earthquake, knocks a larimar gemstone or two into the water.

The History of Larimar Jewelry

Although the gem existed for quite a long time, its recent history in jewelry is a surprisingly modern development. Indigenous people who spoke of the stone referred to it as "Blue Stone" and believed it was symbolic of the Caribbean sea. In 1916, the first recorded written request to mine larimar went to the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Mining. Rejected, the stone remained a little-known treasure for many more decades.

It was not until 1974, when the stone was rediscovered, and the gem got its name. Miguel Mendez and Norman Rilling found some stones on the beach and obtained permission to mine it. They named it after Mendez's daughter, Larissa, and the Spanish word for sea, "Mar." From then on, the Los Chupaderos section of the mountains in that region yielded an abundance of larimars, which quickly became a popular stone for jewelry.

 
 

Picking The Right Jewelry for You

When choosing between bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, and other popular forms, it's wise to pick a stone that works with your preferences. Larimar looks best with light-colored metals, usually featured in sterling silver or white gold jewelry settings.

Larimar rarely comes faceted and instead sells in cabochon cuts. This allows the stone's natural polished color and tones to show clearly. It comes in a wide range of blues, with distinct white lines and shapes within the blue tones. While darker blue stones tend to be rarer, some prefer the mottled look, so pick a stone that you enjoy.

Legend has it that larimar contains healing properties and may help with relieving stress or improving spirituality. So, if you believe in the power of stones, this may be helpful when looking for the right stone jewelry for you.

Style Larimar to Your Outfits and Events

There are plenty of larimar shapes and styles to suit different occasions and moods. If you want a more casual appearance, select a larimar necklace in a fun form with an animal or ocean theme. They come in natural shapes as well for a unique expression.

Look for bezel-setting larimar rings or ones surrounded by filigree and milgrain that accentuate the stone itself. You may also choose those framed by crystals or other stones for a more opulent look. If you want to show off your larimar earrings or necklaces further, pick short-sleeves and lower-cut necklines that put the jewelry on full display.

 
 

Larimar Jewelry: FAQs Answered

This gem is a rare stone, and you may wonder how to care for it or how it forms. When selecting a jewelry piece, let us help you identify a high-grade stone from a less expensive one.

How do you care for larimar?

This stone has some unusual properties that need special care. You should not allow creams, oils, or other beauty substances to remain on the surface. Also, it may fade with prolonged exposure to the sun or heat, so store it in a closed box whenever not in use. Take it off when showering or going in the pool, or doing any vigorous activity that could cause the stone harm.

Never use any caustic cleaners or products with ammonia for cleaning. Instead, opt for soap and water with a soft, clean cloth. You may use an ultrasonic cleaner for most jewelry types but should avoid any potentially damaging steam baths.

How does larimar form?

One of the reasons larimar is so rare is that it forms in a very particular way. It only happens when volcanic activity mixes materials in a specific way with a hydrothermal fluid. It then cools and crystallizes to form the gemstones. Copper inclusions during its formation give it a bluish color, and it develops in needle-like crystals. It has to be under extreme pressure within the Earth, which is why it's so difficult to mine.

What are the grades of larimar?

Jewelry with larimar comes in different grades to indicate its luster and quality. "Below" grading has a dull quality with little or no blue. An "A" grade has minimal blue and mostly white tones. "AA" grade has good blue color with some inclusions or defects. "AAA" grade has no inclusions and has a strong mixture of ocean blue with white contrasting lines. Anything above that is "AAA+," with a brilliant blue hue with only a few white lines or shapes.

There is also imitation larimar on the market that involves dyeing less expensive stones a vibrant blue. While these tend to be much less pricy and look nice, they are not the real deal. So purchase from a trusted jeweler to be sure you're choosing a genuine larimar piece that demonstrates elegance as well as offering a distinct impression.