Grading Larimar & Pricing
Gem grading stands for color, clarity, cut, and carat (weight). Gemologists grade gemstones based on these properties. This grading is primary use for transparent gemstones. Larimar is a Translucent and or Opaque gemstone, in which the grading will differ. Our Larimar grading system is composed of Color, (this includes pattens), Purity, Shape, Weight (grams) and Clarity (Translucent or Opaque)
Larimar and all gemstones are graded by the rarity of their features. if a gem is not rare it will not be graded, in term rare is something that is not found in large quantity or numbers. When purchasing a gem stone is what’s best for you personally. if a larimar cabochon has a high grade, that means it has rare features within that property. What’s best for you may not necessarily be the “top” or rarest grade of the gem.
Larimar deposits will yield pieces with a wide variety of qualities. Let’s say, for example, someone just mined 100 pounds of rough Larimar and brought them to a lapidarist for cutting, once it is cut you bring it to a specialist for grading. One of the first things the grader will notice is the size variation. The smaller stones will settle at the bottom of the pile. This leaves the larger stones on top, demanding the most attention. Since there are fewer large stones, they’ll receive a higher grade in the size category than the smaller ones.
Usually when buying rough Larimar, the main terms use are Superior (superior), Primera (first class), Primera Regular (first class regular) Segunda Buena (Good second class), Segunda Regular (Regular second class), Segunda Baja (lower second class) or Tercera (Third) are used in the Dominican Republic with in the Larimar market in Bahoruco. This grade names that are given of the rough-raw material is an estimated or an educated guess of what the inside of the rock might be. For sample, the buyer buys one hundred pounds of Primera quality Larimar and gets it lapidaried (cut), The buyer is thinking he’s going to get a Primera quality Larimar because that was what he purchased, but instead he gets a Segunda quality Larimar or even he or she might get a Superior quality larimar.
The purchasing of rough material is very complicated. On one instance we (Amber International) mined 245 pounds of material. We separated it by grading or classification the material, we came up with three different grades or clasification in total. We had 82 pounds of Primera 121 pounds of a Segunda Buena and 42 pounds of a Segunda Regular. At Amber International we always get three additional associates to come at different times to classify the larimar we mined. We do this so we can verify that the grades or classification we gave the Larimar is correct. After all three associates looked and classified the larimar. we had three different prospective on the 245 pounds of newly mined Larimar. Keep in mind that all of the 245 pounds came out of the same vain at the same depth in the Larimar hole that we own. Following is a breakdown of the tree associates plus us on classification of the 245 pounds of Larimar.
Amber International Classification: 82 lbs Primera, 121 lbs Segunda Buana, 42 lbs Segunda Regular
Associate One Classification: 40 lbs Superior, 180 lbs Primera, 25 lbs Segunda Buena
Associate Two Classification: 117 lbs Superior, 128 lbs Segunda Buena
Associate three Classification: 150 lbs Segunda Buena, 95 lbs of Segunda Regular.
At the end of the day it’s a crap shoot and a risk when buying rough Larimar and that’s not counting on the honesty of the seller of Larimar in the Dominican Republic.
Color – With most if not all semi-precious gemstones the color is the most important factor of the stone. Larimar is no different, we start by grading the color that is most valuable. The chart will show the grades of different color larimar, keep in mind that there are many different shades and tones that are not shown in this chart. The chart will give you an understanding of what the industry uses to buy Larimar. When grading Larimar you must know what you are grading. For sample, grading Cabochons and beads is different from grading slices and raw material.
AAA1 Volcano Blue, this color is extremely rare and out of all larimar mined it is estimated that less than 1% is volcano blue. This grade also includes the pattern of the Larimar which is called turtle back due to the resemblance of the back of a turtle.
AAA2 Extreme Blue, It is also very rare and is estimated of all the Larimar 5% mined is Extreme Blue. The Extreme Blue Larimar is mainly use for high end Jewelry. The larimar AAA2 grade is a lighter color blue, it can have the turtle back patterns or it can also be a Volcano blue Larimar but without the patters.
AAA Sky Blue, the most popular color in the industry. Very difficult to find but is not near as rare as the AAA1 and AAA2. Sky Blue is the most sought color for fine jewelry and collectors alike.
AA Blue, the most sold Larimar in the industry. Most suppliers clarify this larimar as AAA. The reason is, the AAA quality larimar have pre set buyers and is held for the most powerful buyers of larimar. Which includes the high end jewelers and the
A Light Blue to slight Green, Out of all the blues, this is consider the lower quality color Blue Larimar. This color is the most common color found in the mine of Bahoruco. This color is what you will find in the local shop all around the Island.
Green Larimar Just like Blue larimar it comes in various shades of green. Although the market is not very fond of green Larimar it could fetch a premium price if the stone is mix with deep blues and it has a sharp and deep color. Most common green larimar is a pale light greyish-green color.
Red Larimar is red Pectolite with a higher concentration of copper. The red Larimar is not quite popular due to its inconsistent color. Like every other color the bright red has a higher premium than the dull and most common pale red color. This color doesn’t
White Larimar, is Pectolite very common in small pieces or found in the center core of the Laimar. This White Larimar is not sough out in the industry. Although Pectolite is common throughout the world, it’s rare in gemquality specially if is semi or fully transparent. White Pectolite is very soft and is rarely use for cabbing or spheres.
Purity Grade – Purity grade is the second phase of the larimar grading chart. When we considered purity we are referring to any substance or stain that is foreign to the stone. For sample the Larimar could be a AA blue and have a spot or spots in some part of the stone, this could be a grey, brown or any other color that takes away from the larimar piece. Purity grade is mostly use when grading cabochons or beads. When buying slices of Larimar you must take into consideration of the size of the slice in comparison to the size of the foreign substance.
A The stone must be 100% free on any foreign Substance or Stains. Clean on all sides including the back. A perfect sphere
B The stone must be 100% free on any foreign substance or stains on the front (face) or sides of the Stone and 95% in the rear (back) of the stone. Or 15% Pectolite.
C The stone must be 100% free on any foreign substance or stains on the front (face) or sides of the Stone and at least 75% in the rear (back) of the stone. And unto 15% of white Pectolite. Or 30% of Pectolite with a small stain. Or spots of another color (green)
D The stone must be 100% clean on the face of the stone. This stone can be 50 to 100% covered with foreign substance or discoloration in the rare of the stone. This grade pertains mostly to cabochons that is use for jewelry where the rear of the stone is completely covered by any metal.
E The stone must be 95% free on any foreign substance or stains on the front (face), It can have discoloring or another color as long as it’s attractive to the eye. It can have a small foreign substance on the sides of the stone and slight Substance in the rear. Or it can have a small crack vein in the rear of the stone. Or is half white Pectolite.
F The stone must be 95% free on any foreign substance or stains on the front (face). A total of 75% of the stone has to be clean. Very small crack veins. Or it can have a small crack vein in the rear of the stone. Or is half white Pectolite.
G The stone must be 75% free of any foreign substance or stains anywhere on the stone. It can have crack veins. It has more white Pectolite than Larimar.
CLARITY This is the least importance of our grading scale. 90% of all consumer don’t even pay attention to this aspect of the Larimar. Whether the cabochon is translucent or transparent the Larimar is equality beautiful and most of the time you need to use a flashlight to determined the clarity of the stone. We tend to price our cabochons higher when is a translucent piece.
SIZE we sell our cabs and spheres according to grams, a lot of seller specially retailers tend to sell the larimar per carat. when buying per carat keep in mind that there are 5 carats in. a gram.
PRICING The pricing chart is priced per gram. The chart is for pricing cabochons and spheres. Perforated sphere tend to have 5% premium of the listed prices.
Latest update June 1, 2022
Fancy Larimar, see our extensive and never seen before collection and images of fancy larimar.