How to Judge Larimar Gemstone Quality
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
#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.
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.