Monday, August 13, 2012

Natual Wonders: Larimar

I'm kind of surprised that I haven't written a post about Larimar before.It's not a well-known stone, but people who are familiar with it are mysteriously drawn to it. Every time I have a piece of it on display at a festival, it never fails to attract people who know and love the stone. Many of them have been to the Dominican Republic, which is the only place in the world it's found.

Named after the daughter of the man who discovered the stone (her name was Larissa) and the Spanish word for sea (mar), this stone has an interesting hue - it's a soft, sky blue unlike any other stone. The coloring comes from copper (like so many of the stones I love). I was first introduced to it in the Dominican Republic, on the island of St. Thomas during my honeymoon cruise. Brett bought an inexpensive pair of earrings for me as a souvenir. And had I known how UN-inexpensive it is anywhere else, I would have bought a lot more!

Larimar beads are pricey compared to any other semi-precious stone cut into bead form. Larimar cabochons tend on the higher side as well. I have to really search out "bargains" when I'm shopping. And like any stone, there are paler versions, more color-saturated versions, and some with a lot of inclusions. The deeper the blue color, the higher the price. And you know what I prefer...!

A quick snap of some recent larimar purchases:

Three medium-sized cabs. The one on the bottom came out a wee bit brighter than it actually is. The top two give you a good idea of what it usually looks like.

And a few that I've set:

Cloudgazer pendant

Uncharted Island pendant

Winding Path Pendant

 Bonus in the back!

And here's a bracelet I bought for myself, years before I knew how to fabricate jewelry - it wasn't inexpensive but it's one of my favorite pieces and really shows a range of the stone color.

And, like the Winding Path pendant, it's open-backed.

So now you 'know" another unusual (and beautiful) stone.  :)

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