I never get bored writing about my experience in the Dominican Republic, so here I am again with another colorful and precious subject. Today’s topic is the priceless larimar stone of the Dominican Republic.
As I mentioned in the previous article with Barahona, this village is located in the south of the Dominican Republic. Here, people live their lives quietly and away from the city noise.
As you might know, The Dominican Republic is well known for its extremely beautiful, rich and diverse nature. The variety of plants, animals and minerals found here are unique. Among these rare phenomena is the Dominican larimar stone, the main symbol of this country, which can be found in the south region, in Barahona.
The extraordinary blue appearance is similar to the color of the ocean in tropical areas. The provenience of the name “Larimar” comes from a combination of ‘Larissa’ and ‘Mar’ and was given to the stone by a Dominican who named the stone after his daughter Larissa and Mar, the Spanish word for sea. All this period spent there made me see differently the simple way of living, the valuable things of life, and the fact that time can really stand still.
‘Detener el tiempo’ might be a cliché expression but, believe me, in a paradise of colors and nature this is possible. I have reached this point, I felt the vibration of the earth and the beneficial effect of nature. When I’ve seen for the first time the larimar stone on the beach of this village in Barahona it was love at first sight.
I share this experience to give you a better idea of what it means to work with this kind of gemstone. I didn’t get to see the Larimar Mine (Mina de Larimar) in the end. It was located approximately at 10 kilometres away from Barahona, in Enriquillo’s region. The mine, known also as “Los Chupaderos” is names after the provenience of this blue pectolite mine. It is the only place in the world where this material can be found, representing an important resource for the country, thus people are risking their lives to procure this gemstone. An alternative to know more about the process is to take a guided tour, as I always recommend to those interested, so you can learn more about the dangerous extraction and the high effort that implies to get this semiprecious stone.
Barahona landscapes left me dreaming in a mystic atmosphere, surrounded by nature, in the middle of the jungle, it’s kind of liberating and easy to embrace the unknown as it is.
Two years ago I collaborated with a talented person and a good connoisseur of this gemstone. Forced to close his own jewelry store in the center of the capital, Santo Domingo, Mr. Brunildo Espinosa arrived in Barahona, in a small village, where he opened a modest but creative space where he carried out the stone processing activity, using specialized machines, molds and other utensils required and useful for this job, where processing larimar stone becomes a way of living. Mr. Brunildo was the director of the school of larimar in Santo Domingo and also called as the most talented jeweler in the region. He’s now working with big companies in jewelry industry from Italy, France and many others countries from Europe and US. I had the opportunity to work with him, a short period of time, for this personal project.
When I got involved in this project I was fully interested in what I was about to do. The confidence of its realization came gradually, exactly in the moment when I didn’t realize anymore in which stage I was struggling with planning and research. It was a beautiful experience and a bold way of learning interesting things, from how to get involved in a project and carry it with passion to the very end, to the testing point, looking for customers feedback and their interest in buying, not only the final product but, the story behind this gemstone.
The sells stage was short, even if the public was interested, confident and faithful to our work. The quality of the stone was the answer to this short success. Unfortunately, this project never reached the final shape I would have liked, due to several factors. As you will notice next, larimar is an exquisite turquoise to teal blue colored gemstone, which turns into a visual game of the paradise, because diversity of the stone colors is really incredible and represent the miraculous key of surprise and beauty of the Caribbean Sea. Due to the presence of other minerals or oxidization there is larimar with green, brown or even red streaks or spots.
In general, the best quality of larimar has a dark blue color with white cloud-like swirls although sky blue coloring can be equally as beautiful and desired. Personally, I found all kinds of larimar colors perfect for any occasion, event and these jewels can be a match for almost everything, from an exquisite gala, to a sporty outfit. I love to wear them anytime with anything. I couldn’t be more precise than that, right?
If you look at it carefully, you will observe that this stunning gemstone really does look like a summer sky dappled with cloud formations. Below you will be able to notice some ideas that were behind this wonderful project, showing the moment of reaching the house of Mr. Brunildo, followed by the joy of seeing for the first time the jewelry made by this talented man, and ending with a pleasurable moment on the beach, listening to the intense sound of the waves. The beach’s waters in Barahona are crystalline and turquoise and its shore is covered with polished little white stones, I even had a collection of such pebbles.
And because I’m trying to bring you closer to that feeling of living here, make a mental exercise and try to feel the vibration of the place in the the video below and you will understand what I mean.
PS: Leave me your opinion in the comments and tell me if you would be interested in owning a larimar jewel.