Larimar is a semiprecious stone that most closely resembles turquoise and comes from the Dominican Republic. Discovered in the 1970s, it has a variable hardness of 5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. The Dominican man who introduced the gem named it after his daughter, Larissa, and the stone’s remarkable shade of blue like the sea (“mar” in Spanish). Larimar is rumored to channel healing energy by unlocking the wearer’s heart, throat, third eye and crown chakras. Its healing properties let the stress and anxiety of everyday to roll away. With these tips you will never have to stress about sporting a fake.
Inquire about the source. Be wary if anyone tries to sell you a larimar stone or jewelry piece that comes from any location that is not the Dominican Republic. Incidentally, the only larimar mine is along that country’s Barahona coast.
Check the opacity of the stone. Genuine larimar stones are opaque, cloudy and hazy. Light does not pass through a real larimar stone. Lift the stone up to a light source — natural light is the best and most accurate one — and observe if light goes through the stone. If it does, that is an obvious sign that the stone is a fake.
Study the stone’s coloring. The mysteries of the larimar stone are as vast as the ocean due to its diverse chemical composition. While the overwhelming majority of larimar stones have a turquoise and/or aqua coloring, they also have patches or traces of other colors. These other colors are “white, yellow, brown and other earth tones like gray, black, violet or rose,” according to the Larimar Museum. These patterns, patches and traces of color can come in a myriad of combinations. If the stone seems too monochromatic and perfect, it is probably a fake.
Search for a beloved hallmark of the stone — the white streak. White streaks are very common in larimar stones and are key markers that distinguish the stone from turquoise. Be wary of any supposed larimar stone without some hint of a white streak.
References and Resources"The Rough Guide to the Dominic Republic"; Sean Harvey; 2009
Larimar Museum: Plan Your Visit
Harrison's Fine Caribbean Jewelers: Larimar
ResourcesBernardine Fine Art Jewelry; Larimar (Pectolite) Facts, Information and Description; 1998-2011
Trip Advisor; Dominican Republic: Buying Larimar and Amber; Kaki; 2011