As a mineral and rock, Larimar can be safely put in water for brief periods of time.
However, even medium hard materials that can survive a dunking shouldn’t be soaked unnecessarily.
In this article, you’ll learn more about larimar, and why it is that larimar is mostly safe in water.
Can Larimar Go in Water? (EXPLAINED)
Larimar is hard enough to be dunked in water without disaster, though it is right on the cusp of being too soft.
That being said, it will change colors a bit as the moisture soaks into the outer layer of the rock.
Many think the blue tint of Larimar actually gets dark when saturated, but this eventually dehydrates out of the rock when exposed to air again.
In some odd cases, Larimar can actually show a bit of brown tint as well when in water for a while.
This can be due to deposits of iron where the larimar is found in close proximity to hematite.
Ring patterns are a classic sign of this being the case, often caused by the oxidation of the iron involved.
Reasons To Avoid Putting Larimar In Water
Water is hard on rocks.
Even the toughest stones are vulnerable to water.
Water can weaken the physical structure of a valuable stone, causing minute fissures to develop.
These tiny cracks can turn into larger cracks, or be the cause of unexpected cleaving of the stone.
Water can also permanently change the exterior color of the stone, even when the stone has completed returned to a dry state.
Water can also leave a brilliant stone looking dull.
This is why, even though a stone is tough and can survive a soak, we don’t recommend that you put larimar in water for extended periods of time.
Makeup and Constitution of Larimar
As a stone, larimar tends to be a bit of an aggregate.
It’s not near on the scale of mixture as one would find with granite, but larimar can have bits of iron, calcium, copper and other minerals mixed into the stone, oftentimes changing the hue of larimar pieces and creating coloring variations.
Technically speaking, larimar is classified as blue pectolite.
The stone is typically found in or near lava flows and magma deposits which, of course, creates a high potential for mixing with a lot of other minerals that get caught up in the hot soup of metamorphic stone in liquid state.
Interestingly, just about every stone of larimar found also has a white streak in it.
Again, it’s regularly found with hematite, and copper is a frequent player in many larimar samples.
The rarest and most sought after examples of larimar tend to be the stones that are sky-blue in color, often being the rarest as well.
Hardness and Application
In the spectrum of minerals, larimar tends to be on the softer side of the spectrum, only scoring a 4.5 when rated on the Mohs scale.
The scale is often put into practice with the comparison to a steel knife applied to a stone.
Steel, scoring 7 to 8 on the same scale, should be able to scratch and cut into software minerals.
Because of the chemical structure of hydrous sodium calcium silicate, the stone type tends to be brittle compared to much harder stones and minerals.
This nature of larimar actually works in its favor, making the stone desirable because it can be worked and formed into different man-made shapes, including jewelry.
Rarity and Availability
Larimar has become valuable mainly because it is not a very common stone to find.
Most of the larimar samples harvested have been located in the Caribbean.
There are a few other locations worldwide, but the great majority occurred due to ancient volcanic activity in the area millions of years before.
The results created particularly eye-catching blue stones that have been associated with both rarity value as well as magical or metaphysical properties over the ages.
Today, much of the demand for the Larimar found or traded in markets is for jewelry.
The softness of the stone, it’s bright blue appearance and general scarceness make it sought after, driving up prices on set pieces.
That also makes room for a lot of fakes and fraudulent activity as well, with some fake stones looking so authentic, they are hard to tell apart from real larimar.
History and First Findings
The first modern records of larimar occurred in 1974 but it had been found and traded earlier than that period regionally.
During the mid-1970s, a peace corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic found the stone, but it was an artisan who first worked with the mineral who named it after his daughter and the Spanish translation for “sea.”
Since then, thousands of digging shafts have been drilled into the earth on the island looking for more of the blue stone, which is no easy task.
Most of the sites are in the rainforest and hard to access.
However, that hasn’t stopped searching for the stone.
More than 2,000 shafts have been excavated with industrial mining efforts to harvest larimar, many going fairly deep for the volcanic by product.
Cultural Attributions Pinpoint Its Source
Larimar has gone by a number of different names over the years, commonly referenced in trade or marketing.
The Atlantis stone and dolphin stone are two references regularly used, especially if one gets down into the Florida and Caribbean area looking for jewelry.
Again, the actual stone family larimar is part of can be found worldwide.
It’s the particular blue variation of larimar itself that makes it very unique and hard to find anywhere else.
Ironically, larimar is extremely common in the Dominican Republic, making it a natural export for the island country.
Purported Spiritual Attributes
Spiritually-oriented people often associate larimar with the ocean and sea life, particularly large species common in the tropics and Caribbean.
It’s often been traded in ancient times as a spiritual stone, with networks and samples reaching northward through Florida and West into ancient Mesoamerican cultures via coastal connections.
Today, the stone is still used for calming and restorative purposes, but the primary function has been relegated to accessories and display.
As noted above, Larimar is a medium hard stone.
Regarding the question, can larimar go in water, while water won’t immediately damage the stone, other impacts or rough handling can and will scratch or even chip the stone.
Proper handling and care are always suggested with larimar pieces and stones, especially if they are used for display and jewelry.