The Dominican Republic is full of treasures, and one of our most beloved is Larimar. Also known as “Stefilia’s Stone,” Larimar is a rare blue variety of mineral pectolite found only in the Dominican Republic. Its color varies from white, light blue, green-blue to deep blue. Copper is locked inside a crystal at the time of its formation, causing the brilliant color. The phenomenon also produces a mesmerizing maze of interconnecting lines and rough circles throughout the color. Keep in mind, Larimar is a particularly soft gemstone and can be easily scratched, and that vibrant color can fade when exposed to strong sunlight.
The Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Mining records shows that on the 23rd of November 1916, Father Loren of the Barahona Parish requested permission to explore and exploit the mine of a particular blue rock he had discovered. Pectolites were not yet identified in the DR, and so the Loren rejected the request. However, that denied request wasn’t the end of this unique stone. In 1974 on the coast of Barahona, Larimar was rediscovered on a beach, which led locals to believe the stone came from the sea. Founder Miguel took his daughter’s name Larissa, and the Spanish word for sea (mar) and formed Larimar. The stones had washed into the sea from the Bahoruco River, and soon after the Los Chupaderos mine was established upstream.
Not only does Larimar make beautiful jewelry, but it also considered a healing stone and said to be finely tuned to the human body, in particular, the throat area. It is also considered a good luck charm and some people never leave home without it! Today, many people across the globe use the stone to assist and reinforce healing processes. It is a very spiritual stone with intense, harmonious, feminine energy that encourages positivity and tranquillity.
Thanks to the limited supply, this semi-precious stone isn’t widely known outside of the island, but it is popular with tourists and knowledgeable collectors. A recent ban on exporting Larimar in a raw state seeks to develop micro, small and medium, handmade jewelry businesses as well as create formal jobs in the towns where the stones are mined. The only mines are in the south of the island, and you can see them in operation and purchase the unpolished stone from local vendors. The tours will give you a closer look at narrow mine shafts leading into the volcanic chimneys that would have once erupted lava and steam, which combined to craft this beautiful stone. To learn even more, you can visit the Larimar Museum in Santo Domingo. Located in Cabarete, you can visit our mini museum, Yocahu Caribbean Jewelry, just in front of Villa Taina. This new fine jewelry store brings back the meaning and importance of Larimar and owner Claudia is passionate about preserving and sharing the treasures of the Dominican Republic.