The Caribbean’s Semi-Precious Stones: Larimar and Caymanite

Home to sparkling azure seas, amazing beaches, and exotic tropical vistas, the Caribbean dazzles with outer beauty. But two of the international locations discovered below also have their have brand name of “inner splendor” – semi-valuable stones found nowhere else on earth.


Observed only in one distant spot of the Dominican Republic, the exact volcanic forces which made the island by itself forged this exquisite gem. Incredibly hot gases pushed molten product into the volcano’s chimneys, producing its minerals to crystallize and produce the stone’s distinctive properties. In excess of the eons, erosion triggered bits of the stone to break off, washing them into the Bahoruco River in which they tumbled in opposition to rocks and other particles. By the time the stones attained the river’s finish at the beach front, this polishing action exposed the marbled sea-blue, eco-friendly, and white hues Larimar is now prized for.

While the day of its discovery is unfamiliar, it really is very likely that inhabitants came across the blue stones washed up on the seashore additional than a century in the past. They may possibly have later traced its origins to the mountains. By 1916, at minimum a single person understood the place to discover it – a priest in Barahona parish, who applied for the ideal to established up a mining procedure. His application was never authorised, even so, and Larimar remained shrouded in mystery for years to appear.

In reality, it continued to go unnoticed by the planet at substantial until 1974, when geologist Miguel Méndez and Peace Corps volunteer Norman Rilling uncovered some of the stones on the seaside. They followed the stream up the mountain, eventually arriving at Los Chupaderos, where by most Larimar is mined now. Miguel Méndez named the stone by combining his daughter’s identify, “Larissa,” with “mar,” the Spanish phrase for sea.

Scientifically, Larimar is blue pectolite. Although other kinds of pectolite exist in spots about the earth, Larimar is distinctive to the lush Bahoruco mountain assortment. Copper gives it its characteristic blues and greens, with blue stones thought of far more precious. In addition, some stones contain purple, brown, or gray shades. Because of its coloring, it can be sometimes mistaken for turquoise or blue jade.

Since of claims that the Dominican Republic was the historical site of Atlantis, symbolized by dolphins, some individuals phone Larimar “the Atlantis Stone” or “the Dolphin Stone.” According to folklore, Larimar assists minimize anxiety, radiates healing vitality, aids interaction, and enlightens the thoughts.

With all the enjoyment about Larimar, there is certainly even a Larimar Museum in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s funds metropolis. Found in a well-restored historic creating, the museum contains exhibits about the gem and a store with hand-designed Larimar jewelry.

When Larimar is most often offered as jewelry, it is also readily available in sculptures and polished slabs. Only get jewellery from dependable outlets simply because blue glass has sometimes been passed off as Larimar. Suppliers in the Dominican Republic have the widest selection, of training course, but Larimar can also be identified in a tiny selection of outlets in other countries.


Also restricted to a modest area, Caymanite is uncovered only in the Cayman Islands on Grand Cayman’s East Conclusion and the bluff on Cayman Brac. As with Larimar, volcanic activity fashioned the semi-treasured stone. When volcanic ash poured down on rocks beneath, it shaped sediments. In excess of time, all those sediments hardened into rocks, creating a form of dolomite. Since every single layer’s mineral material differed, every layer’s colour may differ. In the polished stones, this generates colored stripes in earth tones – browns, yellows, and whites.

Owing to Caymanite’s hardness, cutting wheels and grinders want diamond tips in buy to slash and polish it. Artists who wish to develop parts from the stones place in a terrific deal of time and work finding out how to function with it.

In addition to jewelry pieces, Caymanite is also fashioned into sculptures, objects like small business card holders, and applied in inlaid tables. Like Larimar, its distribution is modest, so it really is rarely discovered outside the house the Cayman Islands.

Vacationers can acquire home a genuine piece of the islands with Larimar and Caymanite things. And people lucky enough to come across Larimar somewhere else can enjoy its calming, ocean hues with no a trip to the tropics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *