- Mining & Grading of Larimar
Mining & Grading of Larimar
MINING THE STONE
is extremely difficult. Not only does the location of the mines make them extremely difficult to access, but the area is subject to the hurricane season, often causing the mines to be closed for 5 months out of the year.
The stone must be mined by hand; dynamite or heavy machinery can destroy it. So excavation is extremely labor intensive. Miners, using only hand tools, must find and follow the small veins of Larimar. The best quality stone is often found as far as one hundred feet below the surface; digging through all that rock by hand obviously takes quite a bit of time.
Then there is the rain. The torrential rainfall during the five-month hurricane season often shuts down the mines. Sometimes the mines flood and the mountain can unleash devastating mudslides. These factors contribute further to the difficulty of extraction, and limit the supply of the stone even further.
In actuality, there is no standardized gemological grading method for Larimar. Within the industry, several factors are typically considered in assessing the quality of the stone, with color and patterning being the primary ones:
1. Color – the deeper, "volcanic" blues are considered by some to be "best".
2. Patterning – the richer, more interesting, the better.
3. Luster - is it glossy?
4. Clarity - is it free of obvious defects? (Pits, cracks, carbon deposits, etc.)
5. Translucence - can light pass thru a portion of the stone?
6. Chatoyance - a luminous band with a silky luster (like that typical of cat's-eye).
There is no one particular factor that determines the “grade”; it is a combination of factors. The depth of color alone may not "make or break" the grade; the pattern and luminosity may bring up the grade of a stone whose color may not be as deep as others.
On the internet you are likely to find Larimar labeled as "AAA." The term is bandied about quite freely. Some vendors label every stone they have for sale as AAA, regardless of its appearance.
And along those line, beware of FAKE Larimar! It was only a matter of time. As Larimar has become more widely known, unscrupulous manufacturers and vendors have popped up selling "fake" versions of the stone.
Aside from the quality of the Larimar stone, another consideration (when shopping on the internet in particular) is the quality of the silver (or gold) and the silverwork. Metal that is pitted and/or lacks shine and uniformity is not the hallmark of quality workmanship.
MarahLago, however, is the premier designer and manufacturer of Larimar jewelry worldwide. Creativity and chic style are incorporated in every exclusive design. All designs are set in nickel-free sterling silver. As mentioned above, MarahLago only works with the top 3% of the Larimar mined. The trademark flower logo is your confirmation that it’s a genuine MarahLago piece.