Semi-precious stones of the Caribbean: Larimar and Caymanite

Semi-precious stones of the Caribbean: Larimar and Caymanite

Dwelling to glowing azure seas, gorgeous seashores and unique tropical vistas, the Caribbean dazzles with outward magnificence. However two of the nations discovered right here even have their very own model of “interior magnificence” – semi-precious stones discovered nowhere else on earth.


Discovered solely in a distant area of the Dominican Republic, the identical volcanic forces that created the island itself cast this beautiful gem. The recent gases pushed the molten materials into the volcano’s vents, inflicting its minerals to crystallize and creating the stone’s distinctive properties. Over the eons, erosion brought on chunks of stone to interrupt off, carrying them into the Bahoruco River the place they tumbled in opposition to boulders and different particles. By the point the stones reached the tip of the river on the seashore, this sprucing motion revealed the marbled hues of navy blue, inexperienced and white for which Larimar is now prized.

Though the date of its discovery is unknown, it’s seemingly that locals found the blue stones washed up on the seashore over a century in the past. They might have later traced its origins to the mountains. In 1916, a minimum of one particular person knew the place to seek out it – a parish priest from Barahona, who utilized for the fitting to arrange a mining operation. Nonetheless, his candidacy was by no means accredited and Larimar remained shrouded in thriller for years.

In actual fact, it continued to go unnoticed world wide till 1974, when geologist Miguel Méndez and Peace Corps volunteer Norman Rilling discovered among the stones on the seashore. They adopted the stream up the mountain, finally arriving at Los Chupaderos, the place most Larimar are mined right now. Miguel Méndez named the stone by combining his daughter’s identify, “Larissa”, with “mar”, the Spanish phrase for sea.

Scientifically, Larimar is a blue pectolite. Though different varieties of pectolite exist in areas world wide, the Larimar is exclusive to the plush Bahoruco mountain vary. Copper provides it its attribute blues and greens, with blue stones being thought of extra beneficial. Moreover, some stones include shades of pink, brown, or grey. As a consequence of its coloration, it’s typically confused with turquoise or blue jade.

As a consequence of claims that the Dominican Republic was the traditional web site of Atlantis, symbolized by dolphins, some individuals name Larimar “the stone of Atlantis” or “the stone of the dolphin”. In line with folklore, larimar helps relieve stress, exudes therapeutic power, facilitates communication and enlightens the thoughts.

With all the thrill surrounding Larimar, there’s even a Larimar Museum in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. Situated in a well-restored historic constructing, the museum accommodates reveals on the gem and a retailer of handmade Larimar jewellery.

Whereas Larimar is mostly offered as jewellery, additionally it is out there in carvings and polished slabs. Solely purchase jewellery from respected shops, as blue glass has typically been handed off as Larimar. Shops within the Dominican Republic have the biggest choice, after all, however Larimar will also be present in a small variety of shops in different nations.


Additionally restricted to a small space, caimanite is barely discovered within the Cayman Islands on the jap finish of Grand Cayman and within the Cayman Brac Cliff. As with the Larimar, volcanic exercise shaped the semi-precious stone. When volcanic ash poured onto the rocks beneath, it shaped sediment. Over time, these sediments hardened into rocks, creating a kind of dolomite. For the reason that mineral content material of every layer was completely different, the colour of every layer varies. In polished stones, this creates coloured stripes in earth tones – browns, yellows and whites.

As a result of hardness of Caymanite, grinding wheels and grinders want diamond factors to chop and polish it. Artists who wish to create items from the stones spend plenty of effort and time studying to work with them.

Along with jewellery, caimanite can also be normal into carvings, objects like enterprise card holders, and utilized in inlaid tables. Like Larimar, its distribution is small, so it’s hardly ever discovered exterior the Cayman Islands.

Vacationers can take residence an actual piece of the islands with larimar and caimanite wares. And people fortunate sufficient to seek out Larimar elsewhere can get pleasure from its soothing, oceanic hues with out touring to the tropics.

#Semiprecious #stones #Caribbean #Larimar #Caymanite

Supply by Karen Joslin

Related Articles

Back to top button