Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tucson 2017 - Larimar

Oh, larimar! Such an unusual gem, found in only one locale in all the world (the Dominican Republic), seducing everyone with what I call that "summer sky blue" coloring, you are a beautiful and yet willful gem.

Every year, it seems, the prices for acquiring larimar rise. I hunt and peck and dig and search to get my hands on some. And most years...I do. But it does not always happen at a budget-friendly number. Supply and demand...

Larimar is a pectolite, which is usually a combination of calcium and sodium. Pectolites are found throughout the world. The difference here is that in larimar, the combination is sodium and copper, which gives this gem its distinctive blue hue.

Most people become aware of it on a trip to the Carribean. It's often made into relatively simple jewelry designs and often sold rather inexpensively (compared to what I pay as an American gem buyer). Of course, "inexpensive" is relative; once you add in the costs of a Dominican vacation, it might all balance out. But then you'll have larimar *and* the photos and memories... ;)

As the vein is being ever more deeply penetrated, what's coming up from its depths is changing dramatically. It used to be just a pure, baby blue:


and now, it's not just a blue gem anymore. It's got patches of white, daubs of green, some black, even, occasionally, a hint of red:


as seen in the top stone above. That is the largest larimar cab it's been my pleasure to purchase. Notice how it's also a more soft blue, aqua-y color, as opposed to the gem below it, which is more indicative of traditional larimar coloring.

Here's a great example of the interesting patterns that show up:


and here's one of my favorite larimar gems of all time:


I never see this kind of translucency (at the bottom of the square) in larimar. It's like the waves crashing up onto the beach. And the coloring is just lovely. And well and interestingly cut. Someday I'll decide what I'm going to do with it...


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