How is Larimar Graded and Priced?

As with any gemstone, understanding how Larimar is graded can help you make informed decisions when purchasing Larimar jewelry or specimens. In this post, we'll explore the key factors that contribute to Larimar grading and what to look for when assessing the quality of this coveted gemstone. We will also look at what factors play an important role in pricing Larimar stones and jewelry.

Factors in Larimar Grading

Larimar grading typically involves assessing several factors, including color, pattern, clarity, and size. Each of these elements plays a role in determining the stone's quality, value, and overall appeal.

1. Color

One of the most distinctive features of Larimar is its vibrant blue color. The intensity and consistency of the blue hues play a significant role in grading. Larimar with deep, vivid and volcanic-blue tones is generally considered higher quality, while stones with lighter coloring are graded lower. 

Larimar stone exhibiting intense blue colors. Source: Instagram @bluetainashop

2. Patterns

The patterns in Larimar can vary greatly, contributing to its uniqueness. Common patterns include the "turtleback" design, which resembles concentric circles, and other swirling or streaked patterns. Larimar with well-defined, aesthetically pleasing patterns typically receives a higher grade. 

Deep Blue AAA Larimar Stone Pendant, Larimar Necklace, Larimar jewelry, Drilled Larimar, Gift for her, Gift for himLarimar cabochon exhibiting the turtleback pattern. Source: Blue Taina

3. Clarity

While Larimar is not typically transparent, its clarity refers to the presence or absence of internal flaws or inclusions. High-quality Larimar tends to have fewer imperfections and undesirable inclusions. It is important to note that some inclusions can create interesting visual effects, adding character to the stone.

silver larimar pendantWire-wrapped Larimar pendant. Source: Instagram @bluetainashop

4. Size

Larimar comes in various sizes, from small pieces used in jewelry to larger specimens. Larger pieces are generally more valuable, especially if they maintain high quality in terms of color and pattern. However, smaller Larimar stones can still be highly desirable for their unique characteristics.

Super blue larimar stoneDeep-blue Larimar Palm Stone. Source: Blue Taina

Larimar grades

While there is no internationally standardized system for grading Larimar, the A-letter grading is widely used within the industry. Gemstones, including Larimar, are typically graded based on the 4 "C's": color, cut, clarity, and carat weight (or grams in the case of Larimar). These factors play a significant role in determining a stone's overall quality and value. However, it's essential to note that grading can vary among sellers, and some may assign higher grades to Larimar stones than they actually possess. Therefore, grading by a particular seller may not always be definitive. 

A Grade Larimar tipically represents the entry-level tier and may exhibit pale blue or pale blue-white, green, and/or gray hues. Undesirable inclusions or flaws may be present.

AA Grade Larimar features more accentuated and consistent blue hues. Patterns may be more pronounced with fewer inclusions, contributing to improved clarity.

From let to right: A and AA grade Larimar stones. Source: Pixabay, Blue Taina

AAA Grade Larimar denotes premium quality, boasting vibrant and rich blue colors with exceptional consistency and intensity throughout the stone. They may exhibit well-defined patterns such as the classic "turtleback" design. Inclusions are minimal.

Deep Blue Larimar Palm Stone Cabochon, AAAA Larimar, Turtleback Larimar Stone, Dominican Larimar, Larimar pendant, Larimar CrystalSource: Blue Taina


AAAA Grade Larimar represents the pinnacle of quality, characterized by deep, vibrant and volcanic-blue hues and intricate patterns with virtually no visible inclusions or flaws. These stones are exceptionally rare and sought after for their superior characteristics, making them ideal for fine jewelry and collector's pieces.

Wire-wrapped heart Larimar pendant. Source: Instagram @bluetainashop

It's important to recognize that the term "quality" in gemstone grading doesn't imply that one gem is inherently superior to another. Instead, it reflects the presence of rare or desirable features within a particular property. Ultimately, the best gemstone for you will depend on your personal preferences and priorities. Selecting the right gemstone involves considering various factors beyond just its grade, ensuring that it aligns with your individual tastes and requirements.

Larimar Pricing

When it comes to pricing Larimar gemstones, several factors come into play, with grading being one of the most significant contributors. Let's look at some factors that influence the pricing of Larimar products:

  • Rarity and Geological Origin: Larimar is an exceptionally rare gemstone found exclusively in the Dominican Republic, particularly in the remote mountainous regions near Barahona. Its limited geographical occurrence contributes significantly to its scarcity, making it highly coveted among collectors and jewelry aficionados.

  • Mining Challenges and Labor Intensity: Extracting Larimar from its natural habitat presents numerous challenges, including rugged terrain, and unpredictable deposits. Miners often face arduous conditions while navigating the mountainous landscape to access Larimar veins. 

    Larimar mining can be considered as artisanal, since the methodology used is conditioned by factors such as the thinness and irregularity of the Larimar bearing layer and the non-use of explosives and compressed air. To extract the stone, holes must be drilled 200 meters underground, which are shored with wood to avoid collapse. The equipment used includes electric hammers, submersible pumps, hoses, cranes, buckets and fans, among other tools. Likewise, the process of cutting, and cabbing Larimar is labor-intensive and requires skilled craftsmanship, further contributing to its cost.

  • Quality Grading and Pricing: As explained before, Larimar gemstones are graded based on various factors such as color intensity, pattern clarity, and overall aesthetic appeal, with higher-quality Larimar specimens commanding premium prices in the market. The link between pricing and grading underscores the importance of quality assessment in determining Larimar's value.

  • Processing Stages and Price Variations: Larimar prices can vary depending on the stage of processing. Rough Larimar stones extracted from mines are priced differently from cut and polished gemstones ready for use in jewelry. Factors such as size, shape, color consistency, and overall quality influence the pricing of Larimar at each processing stage.

When delving into the world of Larimar pricing, one quickly discovers that it's anything but standardized. The range of prices for Larimar stones is very vast, spanning from a couple of dollars to over US$15 per gram. This significant price range follows the wide spectrum of quality, rarity, processing, shape, and individual seller. For Larimar jewelry, prices will also reflect the material the stone is set in, the design, and the craftsmanship. 

Ultimately, the wide range of Larimar prices underscores the importance of careful consideration when making purchasing decisions.

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