Many of the best aspects of the Dominican Republic cost nothing, and are entirely priceless. From its idyllic beaches and unspoiled rainforests to the warm smiles of locals who pass you in the streets, the Dominican Republic is an apt illustration of the old saying, “The best things in life are free.”
This being said, the Dominican is nonetheless a great spot for shopping, no matter what kind of treasure you want to take home with you. One such treasure, a precious stone known as “larimar,” can be found only in the Dominican Republic, a fact that underscores your need to buy some during your visit.
Larimar Precious Stone of the Dominican Republic What Is It?
Larimar, which also goes by names such as “Dominican Turquoise” and “Stefilia’s Stone,” is a stone of the pectolite family whose only known source is in the Dominican Republic. Within the Dominican, the rare and precious stone is found in a remote area of the island called Barahona.
The stone can bear colors as vibrant as deep blue-green or blue, although it is often paler or more translucent in color, taking a lighter blue hue. Since it began to be commercially mined in the late 1970s, its primary source of consumer sale is in the jewelry you can find at markets in Dominican cities.
Where You Can Buy It
If you’re in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, the best place to shop for this rare treasure is at the Larimar Museum, which is located in the old city center. The museum is not only a great place to purchase necklaces, bracelets and rings, but it also provides an opportunity to learn more about the history of this precious stone and its impact on the Dominican.
Ample shopping opportunities also exist elsewhere in the country. In Punta Cana, for example, you can stop in at the reliable Harrison’s Jewelry, which guarantees you impeccable quality and authenticity. An option in more rural parts of the island is to practice your bargaining skills at a local, open-air market.
Larimar Precious Stone of the Dominican Republic Shopping Tips
With the exception of big-name outlet stores like Harrison’s, many places to buy larimar in the Dominican Republic won’t have the prices listed. Therefore, if you aren’t confident in your haggling skills, bring a local with you. He or she can better assess how good or bad the deal your getting is and advise you whether you should go through with the purchase or move on, if necessary.
Another issue while shopping for larimar is determining authenticity. You can assess the authenticity of a piece of larimar by shining a light through it. Or, attempting to, anyway — if the stone is real, light will not pass through it.