Larimar is a type of pectolite,
or a rock composed largely of pectolite, an acid silicate hydrate of calcium
Although pectolite is found in many locations, nowhere else does it have the
unique blue coloration of Larimar.Â The blue color is the result of cobalt
substitution for calcium.Â It only occurs in one square kilometer of a
remote mountainous region in the Dominican Republic.Â Making it one of the
rares gems in the world.
It is among the newest gemstones to have been discovered and
catalogued in geological literature.Â Norman Rilling, a US member of the
Peace Corps, and Miguel Mendez, a Dominican, officially discovered the blue
pectolite gemstone in 1974.Â The word Larimar was created by Mendez, who
combined his daughterâ€™s name Larissa with the Spanish world for sea, Mar.
Quality grading is according to coloration and the typical
mineral crystal configuration in the stone. Larimar also comes in green and
even with red spots, brown strikes etc. due to other matters and / or
oxidation. But the more intense the blue, and the contrasts in the stone, the
higher and rarer is the quality. The blue color is photosensitive and fades
with time if exposed to too much light and heat. White colored Larimar is
considered to be low in quality while intense blue (volcanic blue) is of the
highest quality.Â Larimar also comes with greenish coloration, which is
not well regarded by some unless it is an intense green.Â Larimar is used
most often to make jewelry but has also been used to make beads, decorative
objects and even handles on cabinets.
Larimar formed when hot gases push crystallized minerals up
though volcanic â€˜tubesâ€™. In order to mine and excavate the stone miners must
identify these tubes and dig deeper and deeper into old volcanoes. Â Cutting Larimar is also very costly.Â
There is aÂ tremendous loss of material when specific shapes are
created.Â Therefore, a precisely cut bead or a perfectly shaped cabochon
or pendant is more expensive than a freeform one.
Most small blocks of Larimar are in situ, meaning they exist
in the very place where they formed. However through soil erosion some pieces
broke off and were moved by rainfall down the slopes of the hillsides to
rivers. The river deposited them in the Caribbean Sea, some pieces washed up on
the seashore by waves.
Larimar is considered a healing stone, and said to be finely
tuned to the human body particularly to the throat area. It is said that it increases
speech and communication skills and supports the bodyâ€™s natural healing
process. Â Persons believing in this have
been known to wear Larimar jewelry or to put pieces of Larimar in their pockets
or under their pillows. Today, there are thousands of people, naturalists and
persons practicing alternative and holistic healing methods, who use Larimar to
assist and reinforce healing processes.
Sources Â : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larimar