Larimar was first discovered in 1916 by a priest named Miguel Domingo Fuertes Loren who was living in the in Dominican Republic.  He was so taken by the beautiful blue color that he reported this to the archbishop, with a request to mine it. His request was denied and this unusual stone lay hidden from the world until 1974.

The natives of the Dominican Republic were always aware of Larimar, which they believed was produced by the sea. They would collect these stones on the beach to decorate the walls of their homes and sew onto their clothing. One day, the local inhabitants found no more Larimar on the beach. They followed a river upstream where they discovered a large rock which appeared to be the source. In fact Larimar is formed when hot gases push crystallized minerals up though volcanic lava tubes. In order to mine and excavate the stone, miners must identify these tubes and dig deeper and deeper into old volcanoes. Most mining is performed by locals using hand tools.

In 1974 Norman Riling, a member of the United States Peace Corps and a Dominican national, Miguel Mendez found Larimar on the seashore in the province of Barahona, the Dominican Republic. They, like the locals, followed the Bahoruco River upstream and found the source of the stone. Mendoza named the stone using his daughter’s name, Larissa with mar, the Spanish word for sea, thus the blue stone came to be known worldwide as Larimar.

Larimar is found only in the province Barahona in the Dominican Republic, in a radius of about 2 kilometers, and nowhere else in the world. Larimar is a kind of Pectolite stone, but as mentioned above, the blue color is found only in the Dominican Republic.

The healing properties of Larimar are said to be a stimulant for the heart, throat, third eye and crown chakras. It enhances the body’s ability to heal itself and represents peace and clarity.

Most Larimar stones are set in sterling silver. The marine blue is offset well by the white metal. The deeper blues are sometimes used with gold for those who prefer the yellow metal color. The intense blue is a magnetic draw and one of the most popular with our customer. Pacific Beads has a wide array of Larimar bracelets, earrings, rings, and pendants, in sterling silver. It is definitely worth visiting Pacific Beads to see one of these most unique stones, but amazingly reasonably priced jewelry.

Mining with hand tools in the mountainous area of the Dominican Republic. This is the only place in the world where Larimar is found.

Miners follow the lava tubes to extract the Larimar rock.

Larimar, the stone of the sea

A Pacific Bead’s guest displays the beauty of her Larimar ring after purchase.

Sampling of Larimar designs at Pacific Beads.