Larimar...A Gem of a Souvenir!
What is Larimar anyway? Its a rare blue variety of pectolite found in the Dominican Republic but sold throughout the Caribbean. Its coloration varies from white, light-blue, green-blue to deep blue.
For a little history, The Dominican Republic's Ministry of Mining records show that in 1916 Father Miguel Domingo Fuertes Loren requested permission to explore and exploit the mine of a certain blue rock he had discovered. Pectolites were not yet known in the Dominican Republic and the request was rejected.
In 1974, Miguel Mendez and Peace Corps volunteer Norman Rilling rediscover Larimar on a beach. Miguel took his young daughter's name Larissa and the Spanish word for sea (mar) and formed Larimar, by the colors of the water of the Caribbean Sea, where it was found.
Although pectolite is found in many locations, none have the unique volcanic blue coloration of Larimar. The tumbling action, in the Bahoruco River where its found, provides the natural polishing.
Larimar jewelry is offered as a local specialty here on St. Croix. 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 or brown strikes but the more intense the blue, and the contrasts in the stone, the higher and rarer is the quality.
Look for earrings, bracelets, rings, and pendants at the following St. Croix locations:
Baci Duty Free, Silver Angel, Tropical Bracelet, Violette's Boutique