The Story of Larimar a Caribbean Gem Stone

A Unique Caribbean Gemstone

This "One of a Kind" gemstone that has fast become the Caribbeans most famous gemstone.

The name "Larimar", from a combination of "Larrissa"( daughter of Miguel Mendez) and "Mar", was the name given to the stone by Mr. Miguel Mendez, who "combined his daughter's name LARIssa, with MAR, the Spanish word for sea."


Caribbean Larimar is a rare gemstone that is only found in the mountainous and hard to access region of Barahona, in the south-western region of the Dominican Republic looking over the Caribbean Sea. It is the only locality where Larimar, classified as blue pectolite, appears on the terrestrial crust as I know it.

Larimar has an extraordinary blue appearance, similar both in color and shade to the intense, and beautiful, Caribbean sea and sky. The beautiful shades of blue come from traces of copper. Hardness varies, but most material is from 5 to 7 on the Mohs scale.

Larimar first surfaced on the road to commercialism in 1974, although existing locals and their ancestors have been aware of it's beauty and attraction well before that time. Legend has it that they used to simply collect these stones on the beach, but one day they couldn't find anymore. They went to explore upstream, and came upon a rock formation that seemed to be the source of this precious blue stone.

Larimar, a new and extremely welcome member of the family of healing stones, is also known as "Atlantis Stone", since a "wise prophet" claimed that the Dominican Republic was part of the lost continent of Atlantis, an association that has been affirmed by various spiritual and metaphysical authorities.

Larimar is a rare form of Pectolite. The most important outcrop of blue pectolite, is located at "Los Chupaderos", in a section of "Los Checheses", about 10 kilometers southwest of the city of Barahona, in the south-western region of the Dominican Republic.

The deposits of Los Chupaderos

The deposits of Los Chupaderos, a small complex of volcanic origin, composed fundamentally of basalts and porphyry rocks of great diversity. In its interior, there are concentrations of small mineral blocks with the blue color which is characteristic of pectolite found in the Dominican Republic. Many of the nuclei or small blocks of blue pectolite or Larimar are in situ, which means at the very place where they formed.

The first evidences of this rare mineral appeared in small rollings that were mostly found on the beaches of Bahoruco. It was in 1974 that Norman Rilling, a member of the Peace Corps of the United States, and Miguel Mendez, a Dominican Republic national, after finding Larimar on the seashore, attempted to retrace it's route upstream. Up the Bahoruco river, they got to "Los Checheses", in the town "Los Chupaderos" about 10 kilometers into the mountains from the city of Barahona, the place at which at present the most abundant blue pectolite outcropping is found. However, there is constancy that in the year 1916 a parish priest of Barahona, Miguel Domingo Fuertes Loren, applied to the Treasury Department for the exploration privilege and mining license. His attempt failed. Until that time, there had been no mention of the existence of Larimar in geologic literature of studies done of that region.

Geological History

Many million ago years, the island of "La Hispanola" began to be formed by parts emerging from the marine depths.

The first Central Mountain range was of volcanic rock. Approximately 100 million years ago, it began to emerge into the Mountain range of Bahoruco, in the southwest of the island, starting with its Eastern portion. In its constitution it also contained volcanic rocks which in geology are well-known as andesines and basalts.

As the magma or incandescent parts of the interior of the planet were pushed upward, the masses became visible on the terrestrial crust and, when cooling off, would give origin to the rock bulk. The chemical components of these incandescent solutions were very diverse. The minerals in form of silicates stood out and were mixed with aluminum components, as well as sodium, calcium, iron, etc., forming therefore essential and secondary minerals. Among all this chemical packaging, an association which is infrequent in nature, formed itself: silicium-oxygenate with sodic and calcic elements. Formed randomly in suitable proportions, some compact secretions, in small masses, had some brightness and manifold color variates which are known in geology by the name of pectolite. This name was given by the German geologist Kobell in 1828 as he joined the Greek words pektos ("something formed by different parts") and lithos ("rock"). The pectolite is, therefore, a secondary rock.

Pectolite Columns are created as the volcanic processes, moving over millennium, and incandescent masses move to a surface changing the rocks that had already formed there. Limestone rocks started to build up on top of them, but the hot gases and the concentrated fire perforated the rocks, creating true tubular chimneys.

Because of the high temperature affecting the incandescent masses that had been pushed up by the gases of the interior, the crystallization of some materials took place. When the volcanic lava was cooling off in the chimney, it became columns as a firm support of a mass in which blue andesites, pectolites, basalts and other minerals formed. The dark and gray ashes in the tube, chimney or column, showed a strong contrast with the color of the other materials.

The crystallization of the mineral happened when the blue pectolite or Larimar was pushed into the "tubes" or "chimneys" of the volcano by the hot gases and the incandescent matter. For this reason, the localization of the mineral and its subsequent extraction depend on the identification of theses tubes.

So, by the end of the Miocene, some rocks lay exposed on limestone. The process of erosion and meteorization, as a result of the meteorological conditions, fractured and moved some of the rock fragments into the bed of the Bahoruco river, and from here, the waters took them down to the coast. Because of their color, and for having received a good polishing by friction, they caused attention as blue pectolite rocks or Larimar.

Now, its exploitation forces the miner to excavate deeper and deeper into the old volcano, until today these holes transformed into a true network of tunnel mines. The wells or holes are all around, look like open craters in the mountain and the miners appear from afar, busy in their tasks. The daily life and the hardships of the miners are very strenuous and fatiguing and they accomplish their work only with the help of primitive, simple tools that accompany them in their daily chores from dawn to dusk, the whole year round. These men risk their lives daily trying to bring up the blue stone.

A travel to the mines of Larimar is an extraordinary experience. The place appears after a long adventure ride on an off-road vehicle over rough (4WD) dirt roads, through villages that brings memories of centuries past long ago.

Metaphysical Properties

It is fun, looks great, and feels good to wear. The full extent of Larimar's metaphysical qualities are still being revealed, but it is said:

Larimar with it's dynamic blues, support us in the changes to which we are constantly exposed. It is no coincidence that Larimar has appeared at a time when the world is going through such rapid transformation. This blue gemstone softens, enlightens and supports the healing process of the physical, emotional-mental and spiritual bodies.

Because of its extraordinary blue texture and appearance (also found as blue-white and blue-green, specks of red and gray, depending on quality), this gemstone is associated with the heavens, the seas and earth as seen from space. A visual representation of the building blocks of life, and the power of these natural elements is contained within this semi-precious stone.

It combines our mind and thoughts (elements of air energy) with our heart and emotions (elements of water energy), gathering them into a harmonious whole. Larimar helps us to view our daily events from a different, more positive perspective.

Larimar's crystal vibrations and unique blend of colors have drawn many people to it. Scientifically, Larimar or Blue Pectolite is unique in it's mineral and chemical make-up. Sodium calcium silicate with a copper ion is the chemical description of Larimar.

Larimar is also known as a healing stone. It can soften the stress and tension that problems bring. Its powers are believed to reduce anger and frustration and then gives relaxation, the various colors each exert their own particular energy. Blue tones calm the spirit, greens assist healing, while red patterns strengthen the will.

Larimar helps us in a physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritual way. Highly recommended for stress.

Larimar is a new and extremely welcome member of the family of healing stones. Larimar is finely tuned to the human body, especially the 5th Energy Center (Chakra; Vishuda), situated in the throat area of the body. This area is also associated with communication. The Energy Center (5th Chakra) holds the thymus gland, which regulates the immune system, and the thyroid gland near the trachea, which secretes a hormone to regulate growth.

Larimar increases speech and communication skills, supports the healing process (thymus), and increases the possibility of regulating thyroid gland malfunction - physical as well as on other levels or planes.

The power of the gemstone is perfectly expressed whenever and wherever the person wears Larimar - perhaps in the form of jewellery, frequently in direct contact with the skin, or when it is placed near the person, for example in the pocket or under the pillow.

Larimar supports dissolving different kind of energy blockages that cause physical problems or mental diseases. Larimar enables the flow of energy within a person and helps promote an open mind to changes and improvement. It also softens the stress and tension that problems bring.

The Atlantis Stone.

Larimar is sometimes referred to as the Atlantis Stone, it is said that this connection was helped along by a Spiritual Master who once lived in Trinidad & Tobago and having founded many Yoga Centers in the Caribbean, United States, Australia, and South America. He claimed some islands in the Caribbean, particularly the Dominican Republic, were in fact part of the sunken continent Atlantis.

Edgar Cayce, ?The Sleeping Prophet? (1877 - 1945), indicated that part of Atlantis could be found in the Caribbean. He also indicated that on one of those islands one would find a blue stone with extraordinary healing attributes, a description that corresponds to Larimar.

Other sources in Europe have ratified the widespread belief that the island where Haiti and the Dominican Republic are situated, was indeed part of the Atlantis continent.

It is well known that Larimar exists only in one region in the world, close to Baoruco, province of Barahona, Dominican Republic, not far from the border to Haiti, and hence the popularization of the name Atlantis Stone.

In Europe in the 1980s, Larimar was commonly known as the Atlantis Stone and even today, customers at mineral and gem shows as well as Metaphysical shows and events, often seek and refer to Larimar as the Atlantis Stone.

Many believe that the colors of Larimar also represent a trace to Atlantis and there are books about Atlantis that mention Larimar as an important tool for healing work.

The appearance of Larimar coincides with the emergence of information about Atlantis.

Sensitive persons can feel and see the information about Atlantis carried by Larimar. Today, there are thousands of people - naturalists and those who practice alternative and holistic healing methods - who use Larimar to assist and reinforce the healing process.

Note 1: I wrote this over 20 years ago as a hand out in our shop in Road Town, British Virgin Islands where we sold Larimar since the early 1980's. My memory on how I compiled the information is vague to say the least, mostly from experience and knowledge gained from time in the trade, but also from a variety of mineral and gemological sources like Gems and Gemology - Winter 1989 - Blue Pectolite article by Robert Woodruff & Emmanuel Fritsch.
Note 2: Had fun adding the section on Metaphysical Properties and the references as the Atlantis Stone. Recently I decided to try and find the "Atlantis Stone" source.. to no avail. I did find some similar reference on five other Larimar / metaphysical related websites. As I am inclined to believe that I used these references before any of them, as far as I can see, so I can't quote them as the source. - Richard (March 2018)