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                           Mineral of the Month--June 2008


                                              Hydrous Sodium Calcium Silicate





Larimar Picfest!

                                                 By Ken Casey

A Brief History
Larimar Picfest!
Members' Gallery
Article Contributors
Photo & Graphics Credits
Suggested Reading
Invitation to Members
Past Minerals of the Month

A Caribbean blue delight...


...found on one island paradise!

(Above): Larimar half, cut and polished, wikimedia 2008


     Welcome to Summer at DMS!  We’ll be taking a break from our “Delaware Mineral Series”
until the Fall.  Please do join us for a Larimar Picfest!

     So, get ready for some mineral eye candy with this month's favorite: Larimar!  Let's go!



     Welcome to another annual Mineral Picfest summer kickoff! 

     Larimar is a strange mineral name.  One might think it was a grandfathered IMA term from
ancient Europe.  But alas, it is not.  "Larimar" is a modern term that refers to two aspects of its
discovery--in a non-scientific, gem-trade named way.



A Brief History


     A provocative mineral, Larimar, is a trade name for a gemmy form of Pectolite.  Found only
in the Dominican Republic, this Caribbean gem has only been commercially available since the
late 1970s.

     It is an “agatey” blue, when polished, and resembles a cross between aquamarine beryl and
turquoise in luster and color.  In it’s rough form, the same blue appears, yet looks more like a
secondary azurite upon limestone.

     A Dominican man, Miguel Mendez and a Peace Corps member, Norman Rilling,  re-found the
location in 1974.  Senior Mendez was inspired to name the gemstone after his daughter Larissa
and the blue sea, which the stone resembled (Spanish “mar“).

     One locations exists for this rare blue gemstone: in the southwest of the country in the
mountains of the Barahona.

     Mining is done with hand tools in man-hewn holes--dangerous work.  Should you come
across some rough, think kindly on the miners of the Caribbean, and enjoy.



Larimar Picfest!


Larimar rough, a variety of Pectolite
(Photo by Arliguie M)
Larimar tumbled stones with coin for scale
(Photo courtesy of He Hi She Lo)


Larimar Polished slab
(Photo by Kevin Ward, The Mineral Gallery)
Larimar cabachon
(Photo by Booth and Booth, UK)


Larimar Pendant: Cab set in Sterling Silver
(Photo by Thomas & Leida Glanz-Lugo)


Fancy Larimar Pendant
(Photo by Thomas & Leida Glanz-Lugo)


Larimar Fish Carving
(Photo by Artesania Morillo)



Larimar Owl Carving
(Photo by Artesania Morillo)
One-of-a-kind Larimar Wire-wrapped Pendant
(Photo by The Lady of the Rings)
Sterling Silver "Brie" Larimar Ring
(Photo by
Marah Lago Larimar Necklace
(Photo by MSA, Macon, GA)
Larimar and Sterling Silver Goddess Bracelet
(Photo by Pennie, The Mystic Sculptress)


     Larimar has only a gemstone usage known to date.




Members' Gallery

Here is where DMS Members can add their Larimar photos to share with us.


Until Next Time

     We hope you have enjoyed our all too short visit to Larimar.  Please join us next month,
for another article, and we shall journey together!
     Until then, stay safe, and happy collecting. hardhat2a.gif (5709 bytes)



Article Contributors

Photo & Graphics Credits

I would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of our fellow Larimar
enthusiasts, collectors, authors, curators, professionals, and club members who made this
work possible. 

Arliguie M,

He Hi She Lo

Kevin Ward, The Mineral Gallery

Booth and Booth, Hexham, UK

Thomas & Leida Glanz-Lugo,

Artesania Morillo, Larimar Are Us

The Lady of the Rings

Marah Lago and The Museum Store, Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, Georgia

Pennie, The Mystic Sculptress at Pennie's Sculptured Designs


2008  All contributions to this article are covered under the copyright protection of this article
and by separate and several copyright protection(s), and are to be used for the sole purposes of
enjoying this scholarly article.  They are used gratefully with express written permission of the
authors, save for generally-accepted scholarly quotes, short in nature, deemed legal to reference
with the appropriate citation and credit.  Reproduction of this article must be obtained by express
written permission of the author, Kenneth B. Casey, for his contributions, authoring, photos, and
graphics.  Use of all other credited materials requires permission of each contributor separately. 
Links and general contact information are included in the credits above, and throughout this article. 
The advice offered herein are only suggestions; it is the reader's charge to use the information
contained herein responsibly.  DMS is not responsible for misuse or accidents caused from this
article. All opinions, theories, proofs, and views expressed within this article, and in others on this
website, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Delaware Mineralogical Society.

Suggested Reading



KEN.JPG (31503 bytes)

   About the Author:  Ken is current webmaster of the Delaware Mineralogical Society.  He has a diploma in Jewelry Repair, Fabrication & Stonesetting from the Bowman Technical School, Lancaster, PA, and worked as jeweler.  He has also studied geology at the University of Delaware.  And, he is currently a member of the Delaware Mineralogical Society and the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society.  E-mail:

Invitation to Members


Want to see your name in print?  Want to co-author, contribute, or author a whole Mineral of the Month article?  Well, this the forum for you!

And Members, if you have pictures, or a story you would like to share, please feel free to offer.  We'd like to post them for our mutual enjoyment.   Of course, you get full photo and author credit, and a chance to reach other collectors, hobbyists, and scientists.  We only ask that you check your facts, give credit where it is due, keep it wholesome for our Junior Members watching, and keep on topic regarding rockhounding.

You don't even have to be experienced in making a webpage.  We can work together to publish your story.  A handwritten short story with a Polaroid will do.  If you do fancier, a text document with a digital photo will suit, as well.   Sharing is the groundwork from which we can get your story out there.

Our club's webpages can reach any person surfing the net in the world, and even on the International Space Station, if they have a mind to view our website!

We are hoping for a possible tie-in to other informative programs upon which our fellow members might want to collaborate.  Contact any officer or board member with your suggestions.

Our next MOTM will be a surprise.  For 2008-9, we are waiting for your suggestions.  What mineral do you want to know more about?

aniagate.gif (1920 bytes)


Most of the Mineral of the Month selections have come from most recent club fieldtrips and March Show Themes, and from inspriring world locales. thus far.  If you have a suggestion for a future Mineral of the Month, please e-mail me at:, or tell me at our next meeting.



Past Minerals of the Month
May 2008 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Hornblende
April 2008 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Biotite Mica
March 2008 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Pegmatites
February 2008 Mineral of the Month: Exotic Pegmatites
January 2008 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Quartz, Part 2
December 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Muscovite Mica
November 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Beryl
October 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Quartz, Part 1
September 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Garnet: Almandite
August 2007 Mineral of the Month: Schorl (Black Tourmaline)
July 2007 Mineral of the Month: Rubellite
June 2007 Mineral of the Month: Elbaite 
May 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Feldspar, Part 2
April 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Feldspar: Plagioclase
March 2007 Mineral of the Month: "The Colors of Fluorite"
February 2007 Mineral of the Month: Pennsylvania Fluorite
January 2007 Mineral of the Month: Sillimanite
December 2006 Mineral of the Month: Hedenbergite by Karissa Hendershot
November 2006 Mineral of the Month: Brandywine Blue Gneiss
October 2006 Mineral of the Month: Spessartite by Karissa Hendershot
September 2006 Mineral of the Month: Native Silver
August 2006 Mineral of the Month: Kryptonite
August 2006 Mineral of the Month: Kryptonite
July 2006 Mineral of the Month: Azurite
June 2006 Mineral of the Month: Pyromorphite
May 2006 Mineral of the Month: Tsavorite by Karissa Hendershot
April 2006 Mineral of the Month: Variscite
March 2006 Mineral of the Month: Petrified Wood, Part II
February 2006 Mineral of the Month: Petrified Wood, Part I
January 2006 Mineral of the Month: Strontianite by Karissa Hendershot
December Mineral of the Month: Clinozoisite
November Mineral of the Month: Bismuth
October Mineral of the Month: Wulfenite by Karissa Hendershot
September Mineral of the Month: Turquoise
August Mineral of the Month: Peridot
July Mineral of the Month: Ruby
June Mineral of the Month: Antarctic Fluorite
May Mineral of the Month: Dolomite, Part 2
April Mineral of the Month: Dolomite, Part 1
March Mineral of the Month: Calcite
February Mineral of the Month: Agate
January Mineral of the Month: Fluorite
December Mineral of the Month: Pyrite
November Mineral of the Month: Stilbite  
October Mineral of the Month: Celestite   

This page last updated:  February 19, 2011 10:15:24 AM




Next Meeting

April Program, Monday, April 8, 2013:

"Destruction of the Fossil Exposures in the Chesapeake Bay Area" presented by Dr. Lauck Ward

General Club Meeting:
April 8, 2013

We are meeting at
Greenbank Mill

Special Meetings:

*Show Committee Meeting, April or May, 2013

*New Home/Lapidary Committee, 2013

*Board Meeting,  April, 2013

Next Field Trips


Past Fieldtrips

Next Show
DMS March Show
March 1-2, 2014 at DelTech Stanton


Our 2013 Show Theme was:
"All That Glitters is as Good as Gold!"

March Show 2013 Report






Fossil Forum

"Dinny, the Dino"

"Belemnites are coming"


MOTM June also commemorates our 50th Show!

It's shiny, yellow, and is a symbol of 50 Years!Can you guess?


Collecting Adventure Stories:

"Sunny Brook Crick Goethite" by Joe Dunleavy