National Larimar Day occurs every year on November 22 in the Dominican Republic. A festive time of year when the country comes together to celebrate various activities that include craft fairs, talks, and cultural events commemorating Larimar. The majority of the Celebrations happen in Bahoruco Municipal District, La Ciénega Municipality of the province of Barahona, and the Colonial City of Santo Domingo.
Larimar, the blue aqueous gemstone, is the centerpiece and legacy of the Dominican Republic. It has been declared as the “National Stone” since 2011. A special gemstone that only this country can claim and has itself become a sort of identity engrained into the culture.
History of National Larimar Day
Larimar, sometimes also known as “Stefilia’s Stone,” is a rare blue variety of the silicate mineral pectolite, found exclusively in the Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean. The story of its discovery is actually quite fascinating. This gemstone was originally discovered in 1916, but its location was subsequently lost and it remained largely unknown to the outside world.
Fast forward to 1974, a local Dominican, Miguel Méndez, and a visiting US Peace Corps volunteer, Norman Rilling, rediscovered the source of the stone along a remote sea beach on the south coast of the island.
They named the stone “Larimar” – combining “Lari,” from Miguel’s daughter’s name, Larissa, and “mar,” the Spanish word for sea, due to the stone’s ocean-like color.
Isn’t that a lovely story?
Since then, Larimar has been prized for its beautiful blue hues and intricate, patterned variations, resembling the sparkling Caribbean sea.
Larimar’s unique blue hue, which can range from light to deep blue, interspersed with white streaks, caught the attention of gem enthusiasts worldwide.
The beauty and rarity of the stone made it increasingly sought after in the global gem market. Despite its late recognition, Larimar has since found its way into various types of jewelry, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, and it’s often polished and cut into cabochons for these pieces.
Its resemblance to the ocean makes it a favorite amongst those who have an affinity for sea and sky aesthetics.
However, what makes Larimar even more intriguing is its limited availability. The single-source gemstone is found only in a remote mountainous region of the Dominican Republic in the province of Barahona. This fact adds to the stone’s mystique and value.
Mining Larimar is a labor-intensive process due to the challenging topography and its occurrence in narrow veins. Despite these hurdles, the Dominican Republic ensures the continued mining of Larimar, providing a significant contribution to local economies and allowing the rest of the world to enjoy this gorgeous gemstone, fondly referred to as the ‘Caribbean gem’.
Larimar Museum and Factory
So, when you’re in the Dominican Republic, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit the Larimar Museum and Factory, especially for National Larimar Day! Located in Santo Domingo, the country’s capital, this place is a paradise for gem enthusiasts, tourists, and anyone with a love for beautiful things.
The museum part is really cool because it showcases not only polished Larimar jewelry and art pieces but also raw Larimar stones, so you get to see the gem in all its forms.
It’s a bit like a journey, you know? You start with the stone’s geological origins and end up seeing the beautiful forms it can take when crafted by skilled artisans. And the best part? You can learn all about how Larimar was discovered, how it’s mined, and its significance to the Dominican Republic.
Then, there’s the factory part, which is equally fascinating!
You can actually witness how raw Larimar stones are transformed into stunning pieces of jewelry. The artisans work right there, meticulously cutting, polishing, and setting the stones. It’s a real treat to watch the process and appreciate the craftsmanship involved. Plus, if you’re looking for souvenirs, there’s a shop where you can buy Larimar jewelry.
It’s a unique piece of the Caribbean you can bring home with you!
So, if you ever find yourself in the Dominican Republic and it is National Larimar Day or not, do add the Larimar Museum and Factory to your itinerary.
It’s a delightful experience and a great way to understand and appreciate the story of this ‘Caribbean gem’.
Larimar Fun Facts
- Larimar has been known to be linked with the Zodiac Sign: Leo. As the stone itself is a water-balancing stone, it cools down the reactive elements of Leo and brings it back to balance and harmony.
- Only 10% of the mined Larimar is actually used in Jewelry.
- Larimar is found only in one place in the world. The Dominican Republic!
- Some believe that wearing Larimar around your neck will bring you good luck.
- Did you know that Larimar is also known as the “Dolphin Stone”? Some people believe it’s because of its lovely sea-blue color that resembles the habitat of dolphins. Others say it’s because dolphins carry the energy of joy and playfulness, much like the joyful, calming energy attributed to Larimar.
- Let’s move on to the name. The gem was named “Larimar” by combining “Lari,” from Miguel’s daughter’s name, Larissa, and “mar,” the Spanish word for sea. A beautiful name for a beautiful gem.
- Did you know Larimar is considered a spiritual stone? Some people believe it can help heal emotions, promote tranquility, and even aid in meditation and spiritual practices.
- Last but not least, despite being a stone that reminds you of the sea and sky, Larimar is actually formed from volcanic activity. It’s a result of hot gas pushing crystallized minerals up into volcanic tubes. So, it’s literally a piece of the fiery heart of the Earth that looks like the serene sea.
A Piece Of Larimar in the US!
So, even though Larimar is exclusively found in the Dominican Republic, you don’t have to travel all the way there to get your hands on some beautiful Larimar jewelry.
One of the places you can find it is through Marahlago, a company that has really made a name for itself in the United States for its exquisite Larimar jewelry.
The cool thing about Marahlago is that they really value the uniqueness of each piece of Larimar. They combine this stunning gem with sterling silver and sometimes other gemstones to create truly eye-catching pieces.
You might be interested in: Popular Larimar Jewelry
From beautiful pendants and delicate earrings to stunning rings and bracelets, they’ve got a wide range of options. They really manage to capture that feel of the Caribbean Sea and sky that Larimar is so famous for!
What’s also really nice about Marahlago is its commitment to quality and authenticity. Every piece of Larimar that they use is carefully chosen, and each piece of jewelry is expertly crafted.
So, you know you’re getting something genuine and well-made. It’s like having a little piece of the Dominican Republic right there with you, wherever you are! And the best part?
You can browse their collection online, so your next piece of Larimar jewelry is just a click away.