Useful life of Dominican Larimar mine

Larimar stone Dominican Republic. Useful life of the Larimar mine Dominican Republic.

Mina de Larimar.

Is larimar still being mined?  if the experts' calculations are correct, there are another 200 or 300 years left to enjoy this gift of nature.

Volcanic activity 70 million years ago where the Bahoruco islands and the Tichese mines are today could have given rise to Larimar, a semi-precious rock that has only been found in Barahona, a southern province bordered by the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea 185 km away. from the capital of Santo Domingo.

In news about the stone in 1974 a photographer named Ana María went to the workshop of the artisan Miguel Méndez in Sato Domingo to ask him to place the blue stone in her bracelet, but the rock was very hard, that is why he could not please her, well local artisans only worked with softer materials such as amber, karel shell or cow horn.

When asked where she got the turquoise stone from, she replied, from nowhere, this stone is from here on the island on the beach of Paraíso in Barahona where the locals sold them in cans to tourists.
When speaking with the American geologist Norman Rilling, a member of the Peace Corps, they decided to go look for the stone but they did not find a trace on the beach of paradise, later they had news that it was on the beach of Bahoruco.
Indeed, there were the stones where the sea dragged them bringing them and carrying them.
Norman's father was an amateur lapidary in California, he was sent the little piece of stone that the photographer brought to study it and see if it was possible to work it into jewelry, he returned it in a precious heart, with a note that said, it is conducive to jewelry but it had to be worked with great care.
This is how Rilling's father recommended the necessary materials and equipment that they should use to work the blue stone. Miguel Méndez was the pioneer in carving the semi-precious stone, which is why he baptized it by joining the first two syllables of his daughter's name "Larissa" and combining it with "Mar" because of the color of the water.
He began the search in the Bahoruco River, a few days later they found the deposit in 1971 and in 1974 is when the larimar mine began to be exploited.
Currently there are 77 artisanal larimar extraction wells, 35 inside the larimar mining tunnel and 42 in the old mine, which reach depths of up to 300 feet, the miners go down there to extract the Larimar rocks with pickaxes using techniques rustic.
Formerly, the mine was worked under the will of God, later a Spanish gentleman Juan Cruis brought the methodology to the mine with wood protection so that it does not allow landslides and fatal accidents to occur.
85% of the Larimar that is produced only in the Barahona mountains in the south of the Dominican Republic is exported to the United States, as well as several countries in Europe and Asia at a price of almost $150 per pound.
The annual production of Larimar is around 100,000 pounds per year between 8 and 9000 pounds per month, while Dominican artisans sell the blue gems on the streets for as little as $20. In hotels and luxury shops, sophisticated designs are sold that are 10 times more expensive if they are made of gold or silver.
It is estimated that 400 people work in the Larimar mine managed by the association of extractors, Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, and if the experts' calculations are correct, there are another 200 or 300 years left to enjoy this gift of nature.
On November 4, 2011, Larimar was declared a National stone because it is found only in our country.
On April 20, 2018, Law 17_18 was enacted, declaring November 22 as National Larimar Day.
Our Larimar is mainly exported to China, the United States, India, Spain, Mexico and Brazil.
One of the biggest challenges of the Larimar mining is the improvement of the work of the goldsmiths with this purpose in 2014 the government delivered in Barahona the Larimar Museum School where they offer jewelry and carving training to both young people and artisans who want to perfect the trade . 102 years after its discovery, the stone is identified as semi-precious for the taste of jewelry lovers in the world.
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