National Larimar Day is on November 22 every year in the Dominican Republic. Picture a rare gemstone, blue as the Caribbean Sea and equally as dazzling — a precious stone with only one known source on a remote mountain island and nowhere else. Sounds like something straight out of a movie or book, right? And yet, this is the real-life origin story of Larimar — a semi-precious blue stone unique to the Dominican Republic and central to its identity today. From almost fading into oblivion to defining the country’s legacy, the stunning Larimar has come a long way.
History of National Larimar Day
Larimar is a unique type of blue pectolite found exclusively in the south of the Dominican Republic. The origin of Larimar dates back to 1916 in southwest Barahona. The story goes that Father Miguel Domingo Fuertes de Loren of the Barahona Parish first discovered the unique stone. The request to mine was denied. Nobody knew what it was or its value. As a result, the stone faded from memory and fell into oblivion.
Decades later, in 1976, a craftsman named Miguel Mendez learned of the stone’s existence. Thus, the search to find it began, and sure enough, there it was — blue as the sparkling Caribbean Sea. It was originally called “Travelina,” but on second thought, Mendez came up with “Larimar.” The name was an homage to his daughter, Larissa, combining her nickname “Lari” with the word “mar,” or sea in Spanish. The name stuck, and since then, the beautiful blue stone has gained fame as a rare gem of the Dominican Republic.
You won’t find Larimar anywhere else in the world. The sole Larimar mine lies in Los Chupaderos, a few miles from the city of Barahona. In 2018, the Dominican Republic celebrated the first National Larimar Day on November 22, the same day the priest Miguel Domingo Fuertes discovered the stone in 1916. Larimar today is an enduring symbol of Dominican Republic heritage. The gorgeous stone sparks wonder for tourists and residents alike — whether polished or raw, as jewelry or décor. Visitors will find precious jewels made from Larimar in gift shops across the country.
National Larimar Day timeline
Mother Nature does its thing and creates a stone as blue as the ocean itself.
Miguel Domingo Fuertes discovers the existence of a unique blue stone on Barahona.
The request to extract the rock is turned down.
Miguel Méndez initiates a renewed search for the blue stone and, on finding it, names it ‘Larimar.’
The Dominican Republic celebrates a precious natural heritage on November 22.
National Larimar Day FAQs
Is Larimar a lucky stone?
Some believe that wearing Larimar around your neck brings good luck. Even if you don’t believe in charms, Larimar is a pretty stone that’s excellent to wear as a statement piece.
What jewelry is the Dominican Republic known for?
Besides Larimar, the Dominican Republic is home to a precious stone called Amber.
How can you spot a fake Larimar?
True Larimar scratches easily. You can spot a fake Larimar if it does not contain milky streaks or white vein-like lines.
National Larimar Day Activities
Visit the Dominican Republic
National Larimar Day is the perfect excuse for a getaway. Plan a trip to the Dominican Republic to see this blue stone first-hand.
Learn about Larimar
Travel to Santo Domingo and sign up for a guided tour of the Larimar Museum. Fascinating trivia and facts are guaranteed.
Buy handcrafted Larimar jewelry
Earn bragging rights with authentic Larimar jewelry to call your own. The stone is relatively inexpensive, and the best place to buy it is the Dominican Republic.
5 Facts About The Dominican Republic That Will Blow Your Mind
A Hollywood favorite
Classic films like “The Godfather II,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and “Jurassic Park” were filmed here.
Rich with endemic wildlife
Solenodon, a rare venomous mammal, roams wild and free in the country’s forests.
Among the country’s signature beverages is “Morir soñando,” which means “to die dreaming.”
With highs and lows
At 151 feet under sea level, Lago Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic is the Caribbean’s lowest point, whereas Duarte Peak, at 10,164, is the highest mountain in the region.
Food and patriotism
The traditional daily lunch dish of rice, meat, and beans is named La Bandera Dominicana, after the national flag.
Why We Love National Larimar Day
Larimar is unique
We love the idea of a stone that’s so rare, you can’t find it anywhere else in the world. It makes Larimar extra special.
Natural and cultural heritage
Larimar and the Dominican Republic are synonymous. National Larimar Day celebrates the unique heritage of the Dominican Republic.
For the love of beauty
The shining Larimar reminds us to appreciate beauty. We’re awestruck by the treasure that is our planet.
National Larimar Day dates