Larimar is the trade name for a light blue variety of pectolite. Pectolites are acid silicate hydrates of calcium and sodium. While pectolite more generally is found in many locations, only larimar displays the unique light blue to sky blue color, resulting from a copper substitution for the calcium. It is named after the part of the Dominican Republic where it comes from, the Filipinas Larimar Mine in Los Checheses, Sierra de Baoruco, Barahona Province.
Larimar formed when minerals filled in cavities left from earlier volcanic activity that took place on the south coast of the Dominican Republic. (In technical terms, they are secondary occurrences within volcanic flows.) As rocks around these mineral deposits erode, the blue pectolite is carried down hill. The Bahoruco River then transports the larimar down to the sea along with alluvium sand and other sediment. Nature polishes the blue larimar as the semi precious stones tumble along the streambed on their journey. This natural polishing makes the stones easy to see in contrast to the dark gravel in the streambed.
Larimar is a great semi precious gemstone for making semi precious beads and cabochons. To care for larimar beads and jewelry components, store them away from direct sunlight. The blue color can fade if exposed to bright sun over a period of time.
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