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How to Judge Larimar Gemstone Quality

Larimar nodule Larimar is one of the most beautiful semi-precious gemstones on the planet.  It has only ever been found in one, very small area in the mountains of the Dominican Republic.  Over the last decade, it has become one of the most sought-after semi-precious gemstones in the world, and because of this, the supply is dwindling quickly.  Like Tanzanite, once it is gone, the values will be SUBSTANTIALLY higher.  Already, we have seen increased valuations for quality larimar, having at least doubled over just the last three or four years.

So it is important to have a good understanding of what drives value, and the difference between just an average stone and a truly valuable one.

The four drivers of larimar value

With daimonds, you always hear about the "4 C's" of quality - Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight.   Well, part of the beauty of semi-precious gemstones is in the incredible uniqueness you may find due to natural variations caused in their formation, so unfortunately, there is no uniform standard as we have with diamonds.

I have been buying larimar for many years, and have come to understand valuations simply based on seeing how different cut stones are priced.   From that I have found four key drivers of value, listed here somewhat in order of their impact on value.


#1 - Unblemished appearance

Nothing detracts from larimar value more than seeing blemishes in the stone.  In the above image of a large larimar nodule, you can see inclusions of dark mineral imperfections that typically occur near the outer edges of the nodule.  It's easy to understand how these dark blemishes detract from value.

#2 - Color

Look for deep, rich, yet brilliant color.  Larimar has the most beautiful, ocean-blue color.  Some gemstones, like turquoise, have major color variations, from green to blue or even brown or white.  Larimar however is usually quite consistent.  You will see variability in the shade of the stone; but not generally in the color.  The exception to this is, sometimes, you will find just a tinge of green, usually in spotty areas of the stone.  This can actually be quite attractive and therefore not a big detractor of value, so long as the green is not really dominant on the stone.  Look again at the above image.   The deep, rich blue at the center is generally the most gorgeous and therefore most valuable.

#3 - Size

Easy to understand, the larger, the more valuable - but not always!  A small stone with perfect color and texture may easily be worth considerably more than a large stone of only average quality.

#4 - Texture

This is the most subjective aspect of larimar value, yet sometimes can be the primary driver if the texture is somehow exceptionally striking.  Again referring to the image above, between the dark center of the nodule and the edges, there is a large area with white texturing blended in with the base blue color.  Too much white and the stone can look "washed out", or you may see a "fuzzy appearance", lacking good definition to the texturing.  Texture is often about what appeals to you, personally, however I have seen that texture which appears almost like a water reflection is the most valuable, and occassionally you find a cut stone where the texture looks like a starburst, and these can also be quite valuable.


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We have a large, high quality collection of both set and unset larimar gemstones.  Browse our finished jewelry for excellent examples, and feel free to contact us if you are interested in commissioning a one-of-a-kind jewelry creation with some of our unset stones.

No charge assessment of your larimar

If you already own a larimar gemstone, I would be happy to give you my own, subjective assessment of its quality.  Just send me a decent quality image of the stone.  You can text that to the phone number at the top of each page on this site.  If you want to email it, I don't post an email address on this site to avoid spam, so just call, or leave me a message on the Contact Page, and I will let you know what email address to sent it to.

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