Larimar, the Dominican Republic’s Unique Stone

Ultimately, he despatched a pattern to the Smithsonian Establishment, the American museum and analysis advanced, which recognized it as a pectolite. Mr. Méndez mentioned he traveled to america to purchase gear to grind the stone, which is tougher than amber, coral and different supplies acquainted to Dominican artisans on the time. He additionally famously got here up with the identify for what locals had merely known as the “blue stone,” combining Larissa, his daughter’s identify, with mar, the Spanish phrase for sea. (Ms. Méndez died final 12 months at age 51.)

Mr. Méndez mentioned he had been stunned by the expansion of the stone’s recognition. “Larimar is now identified all through the world,” he mentioned.

It has actually grow to be the mainstay of the financial system in Bahoruco, a municipal district in Barahona that the nation’s booming tourism trade has largely handed by. The coastal city of Bahoruco, the district seat a number of miles from the larimar mine, has greater than 60 workshops the place artisans form and polish the stones, in accordance with a authorities survey.

César Féliz, who has been a lapidary in Bahoruco for about 20 years, described working with larimar as a form of habit. Throughout a latest telephone interview, he mentioned he had been crafting a pair of earrings formed like ocean waves and minimize from a single piece of stone, a fee from a German jewellery designer.

“Each time you do a job, you wish to invent one thing new and work out how you are able to do it,” Mr. Féliz mentioned. (Miguel Féliz, the artisan college administrator, is his brother.)

Many years in the past, the realm depended totally on agriculture and fishing, however now the financial system revolves round larimar, in accordance with Mr. Gómez, the larimar producer, who leads the native governing board. Two years in the past he was elected to the place, the equal to that of mayor of the district, which he mentioned had a inhabitants of 6,500 to eight,500.

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