Larimar is a rare blue form of the mineral Pectolite, a sodium calcium silicate mineral. It is a natural stone occurring in this rare color in only one place in the world, in the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Sea.
It is virtually one of the only gemstones found in the Caribbean Islands.
Larimar occurs as an aggregate of needle like radiating crystals or fibers grown together in a solid mass, and when cut it reflects those growths in sprays, swirls and orbs. The blue color is caused by copper inclusions.
It was discovered in 1916, but not actually mined until it was rediscovered on the beach in 1974. Miguel Méndez and a Peace Corps volunteer Norman Rilling rediscovered Larimar at the foot of the Bahoruco Mountain Range, where it had been washed down by the river. Miguel named the stone after his daughter Larissa and the Spanish word for sea (mar) because it resembled the colors of the Caribbean Sea.
The Mountain is now covered with approximately 2,000 vertical shafts, surrounded by rain forest vegetation and deposits of blue-colored mine tailings.
Larimar designer cabochons are soft and the color can fade in prolonged sunlight. Because of its softness and natural inclusions, the cabochon stones are rarely clean, but rather contain undercutting, chattering, fracture lines and surface flaws.
Larimar has a hardness of between 4.5 to 5.
Larimar is believed to encourage communication. Larimar is said to help those with anxieties, panic attacks, excessive anger and phobias. It is said to soothe the emotional body, releasing stress and tension.