Pectolite (Larimar) Value, Price, and Jewelry Information
Fibrous pectolite has long been a curiosity for gem collectors. Compact material can make wonderful cabochons, and transparent crystals are rare and usually tiny. Larimar, blue pectolite from the Dominican Republic, has become a popular jewelry stone.
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Fibrous pectolite has long been a curiosity for gem collectors. Compact material can make wonderful cabochons, and transparent crystals are rare and usually tiny. In 1974, blue pectolite was found in the Dominican Republic. Known by the trade name Larimar, this blue gem has since become a popular jewelry stone.
Although the mineral pectolite occurs in locations across the globe, these fibrous aggregates are seldom cohesive enough to cut and usually too soft and fragile for jewelry wear. However, if pectolite's fibers grow intertwined, it can become jade-like in toughness as well as appearance.
With colors ranging from white to various shades of blue, pectolite from the Dominican Republic is the loveliest in the world. Traces of copper contribute to this blue coloration. The finest stones are dark blue and translucent, but sky blue specimens with cloud-like patterns are also highly prized. Known by the trade name Larimar, this variety of compact pectolite can take a very high polish. Though locally abundant, Larimar is a rare gem material.
The refractive indices (RI) of this series vary with the presence of Ca and Mn.
Fibrous material has chatoyancy that can give pectolite cabochons a cat's eye effect.
In longwave (LW) ultraviolet light:
- Orange-pink (Bergen Hill, New Jersey)
- Cream white (Lendalfoot, Scotland)
In shortwave (SW) ultraviolet light:
- Greenish yellow (Scotland)
- Yellowish, orange with green areas (Magnet Cove, Arkansas and Lake County, California)
- phosphorescence (Paterson, New Jersey) Faint yellow with
No known common gem treatments.
In Canada, theThetford Mines and Asbestos, Quebec produce magnificent, prismatic crystals. Indeed, these are the only sources of transparent, facetable pectolite, yielding twinned crystals up to 5" long in colors ranging from white to pale blue-green.
In the United States, Alaska produces massive, jade-like stones (used as jade substitutes) as well as fine-grained, pale blue-green material.Magnet Cove, Arkansas yields pinkish manganiferous material.Lake County, California produces dense material suitable for cabochons. New Jersey has numerous sources, including thePaterson area (fine radial sprays), Bernards Township, Franklin, and Sterling Hill.
Other notable sources include the following locations:
- Czech Republic; Greenland (manganiferous material);Japan; Morocco; Russia; South Africa; Sweden; Scotland, United Kingdom.
Lapidaries have cut cabochons up to a few inches from dense, massive, or fibrous material. Small, faceted gems mined in 1973 from Asbestos, Quebec range in size up about 3 carats, but only a few stones have been faceted.
Although some pectolite stones, especially Larimar, are relatively tough, their hardness range (from 4.5 to 6) makes them susceptible to scratches. Popular jewelry stones, such as quartz, topaz, corundum, and diamond, will scratch them. So, store your pectolite jewelry separately from such pieces. Use protective settings for rings. Pectolite cabs make excellent stones for pendants and earrings.
Clean your gems and jewelry pieces with a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water. Consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for more recommendations.
Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA
Dr. Joel E. Arem has more than 60 years of experience in the world of gems and minerals. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Mineralogy from Harvard University, he has published numerous books that are still among the most widely used references and guidebooks on crystals, gems and minerals in the world.
Co-founder and President of numerous organizations, Dr. Arem has enjoyed a lifelong career in mineralogy and gemology. He has been a Smithsonian scientist and Curator, a consultant to many well-known companies and institutions, and a prolific author and speaker. Although his main activities have been as a gem cutter and dealer, his focus has always been education. joelarem.com
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