I am Miguel Mendez and I am the person who in 1974 discovered the deposits of the stone known as larimar. There have been different versions of how this happened and who did it, but the following happened: At that time I had a crafts shop and a shop where I sold the items I made. Amber, shell, horns, bones and black coral were used as raw material, materials of easy elaboration by its low degree of hardness. One day a lady of German origin came to my workshop who was also my neighbor of my house, she wore a bracelet that originally had seven stones, but she had lost one and wanted to replace it with a piece of stone that had in her hands the same It was blue and very beautiful but unknown to me.
When I looked at it, I realized that it was a very hard material and that the country did not have equipment to work it, nor people able to work it, when I asked where the stone had got it, he told me that it was of Dominican Origin and that there was Got on paradise beach, Barahona. I left the piece of stone and left. In my store we paid special attention to the members of the United States Peace Corps, resident in the country, so we always receive the visits of these young people. Get in touch with one of them, the geologist Norman Rilling and invites you to visit the paradisiacal beach, in the south of the island of Hipañiola, specifically in the province of Barahona, to see if you could find pedestals of this material. The trip was useless, we did not find blue stones. On the way back we went to visit another peace body geologist who was working in the area, helping the community locate the groundwater. We showed them the stone and after telling them a sample of useless search we asked that if he saw a similar material, he warned us. We get information later in the week. This gentleman sent us a piece of this mineral that told us that it had been found on the beach of Bahoruco, Barahona, and in fact we were able to collect several stones that the waves of the sea threw to the shore and they stayed in the beach.
Larimar’s first piece
Since Norman’s father was an amateur lapidist, we sent California a piece of stone to tell us if it was possible to use it in jewelry. Some time later, we received Father Rilling a beautiful heart carved and polished, made of sample that we sent, telling us that the stone was very beautiful, but something difficult to work. He also sent us information about the equipment and materials that were needed to work these stones. Travel to California and purchase the equipment and materials needed to learn how to sculpt and polish this beautiful blue jewel. ALLI STARTED THE START OF THE LAPIDARISTIC INDUSTRY OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC We made the first pieces of jewelry in this material, with a lot of acceptance from the customers, who asked what the stone was. We started calling it turquoise dominican, but Norman told me that Miguel is not turquoise blue you have to create a name for him. We began to ask about the composition of the same, so we decided to send a sample to Smithsonia Institution in Washington DC The answer was as follows: they did not know the material, but possibly out of synthetic origin or perhaps some industrial waste, Later we sent another shows with a larger piece and shortly after the letter came the attached copy.
Origin of the Name Larimar
On another occasion, Miss Sandra Hernandez, also a member of the Peace Corps, took a sample of this stone to the New York Museum of Natural History to analyze it and the results matched those of the Smithsonian Institution. Samples were also sent to Japan and we received the same results. So I decided to give a proper name to this stone and combine the first two syllables of the name of my daughter larissa (lari) and the sea by the color so similar to the color of the ocean. Thus was born the name larimar a year after Norman Rilling finished his stay in the Dominican Republic and before leaving, we returned to bahoruco beach where it was already difficult to find pieces of the blue stone as they called the people of that place. So I asked Norman do you think the deposits of this stone are in the sea and I answered that I do not think, I think they should look for the river that flows into this beach. A month later, accompanied by a couple of men, we locate the deposits about 3 or 5 kilometers from the beach in a place called chupaderos in the Sierra