White sand, shaded by Dominican palms, the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea, warmed by the sun’s rays gracing the sky year-round… And what if we could encapsulate this picturesque scene in a tangible object, allowing us to revisit those exceptional moments added to our private collection during our stay in the Dominican Republic?
The first encounter with larimar
The Caribbean Pearl captivated hearts for the first time in the early 20th century, specifically on November 22, 1916, when Father Miguel Fuertes Domingo Lorén stumbled upon this blue gem near the town of Barahona in southwestern Dominican Republic. Several decades later, thanks to Miguel Méndez, larimar became a permanent entry in the mineral catalog. The discoverer named it after his daughter Larisa, adding the Spanish word „mar,“ meaning „sea,“ to part of her name. It perfectly reflects the unique color palette captured in the mineral’s structure, reminiscent of such a landscape.
The enigmatic interior of larimar
Despite its introduction to the world quite some time ago, the detailed internal structure of larimar remains a mystery to geologists. The main mineral at the heart of the stone is pectolite, belonging to the group of rare minerals. Larimar’s chemical composition includes elements like calcite, natrolite, apatite, and native copper, which, according to many in the world literature, imparts the stone’s unique blue color. Interestingly, the Dominican resource palette is enriched by other elements like gold, iron, silver, and nickel. Here, the thread of Polish presence in the Caribbean emerges – in November 2022, Polish and Dominican geological services joined forces by signing a Cooperation Agreement, primarily aimed at strengthening scientific and practical collaboration in the field of geology. As evident, the Dominican Republic is not only open to an increasing number of visitors but also interested in activities beyond the tourism sector.
November fiesta in the rhythm of the blue shade
On November 22, the entire Dominican Republic dons the color blue, thanks to the National Larimar Day established in March 2018 by the Dominican National Congress. In 2021, the event took place at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), providing an excellent opportunity to contemplate the future of larimar as one of the chief national symbols. During last year’s celebrations, the Dominican Minister of Energy and Mining announced progress in the larimar extraction process and presented how this industry would positively impact both the country’s economy and social life.
What connects Łempicka and Bellini to larimar?
Tamara Łempicka’s paintings feature in their collections artists like Madonna, Jack Nicholson, and Meryl Streep. For one of Poland’s most prominent artists, Italian influences were a significant inspiration, introduced to her world during a year-long stay in sunny Italy in her childhood. This occurred when Tamara simulated an illness requiring basking in southern sunlight to travel with her grandmother to the land of „bello e ben fatto,“ opening her world to art. The works of one of the great Venetian masters and a painting model for Łempicka, Giovanni Bellini, continue to captivate audiences worldwide. The paths of these mentioned artists intersect with the unique blue hue, known as Bellini blue in art, which also shines through in many of Łempicka’s paintings (including the famous „La Muscienne,“ sold for over 34 million złotys). Would larimar have adorned the models immortalized in Tamara’s canvases if Father Miguel Fuertes Domingo Lorén had decided to reveal his find to the world at the beginning of the 20th century? Although this question remains speculative, one thing is certain – the Dominican marvel would undoubtedly add a touch of unique atmosphere to Łempicka’s paintings combined with several other properties.
A global uniqueness
Larimar holds a unique place in the mineral album – not only providing physical but also spiritual protection. Researchers attribute to it the power to ensure internal peace or aid in expressing thoughts, feelings, and needs. Additionally, according to some, the mineral protects against negative energy and opens the heart to… love. While some may view magical properties of inanimate objects with skepticism, others undoubtedly consider additional, non-material criteria when choosing jewelry. Regardless of personal preferences, gifting this unique piece to someone important to us allows us to express what we feel in an unparalleled way.
Puerto Plata abounds with stalls from local artists offering a wide range of larimar-themed jewelry and accessories. Our team members would be happy to point out places worth visiting to purchase this exceptional mineral, and upon your request, they can also organize a tour to the workshops of local artisans.
Buying a souvenir in the form of larimar jewelry is a must on the checklist for travelers whose tourist paths lead to the Dominican coast. And when the search for this exceptional mineral ends successfully, we encourage you to relax in the elegant and comfortable surroundings provided by the apartments in Cofresi Hills Residence.