Wednesday, August 3, 2016


One of the gems of the Dominican Republic (pun intended) is Larimar.

Rough cut Larimar, photo from 

Larimar is a blue variety of pectolite (a calcium-sodium silicate mineral) and is only found in the Dominican Republic. The Larimar mines are located in the Barahona region where the mineral occurs in localized volcanic chimneys. The gemstone was (re)discovered in 1974 by Miguel Méndez and  Norman Rilling who found stones on the beach. It was later discovered that these stones were transported from the Los Chupaderos area (where the mine is now located) by the Bahoruco River. The natives believed the stones came from the ocean and so Miguel named the stone Larimar for his daughter Larissa (LARI-) and the Spanish word for the sea (MAR).

Compare the colour of the beautiful waters around Hispaniola... Is it any wonder that people assumed these gems were from the ocean?

I got lucky and was able to polish some of my own larimar gems at this great little "museum".

Choosing the bits to make into pendants...

Locals making some beautiful stuff. Working conditions are less than ideal...

Here I go!

I think they look pretty amazing!

 These two are my favorites!