Larimar Ring Buyers Guide

There is no universally accepted grading system for colored gemstones.  Therefore there is no one individual factor by which to grade larimar rings, but rather a number of factors that are to be considered in combination.  When evaluating a larimar ring, one should pay attention to the following:

•    Color
•    Pattern
•    Luster
•    Clarity
•    Translucence
•    Chatoyancy


Color

Is the color deep and intense, or does it have a lighter more pastel hue, or is it closer to white?   The deeper and more intense the color is, the rarer and higher the grade of larimar.  Deep volcanic blues are the highest grade.  As the blue gets lighter in shade approaching white the grade becomes less premium.    On a spectrum the color grading is as follows:

deep cobalt (volcanic blue) > turquoise > sky blue > light blue > white

Shades of green are known but best to avoid as they are not well regarded.  That is unless of course you find the color favorable.   Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  However don’t be fooled into paying more for green larimar.  Green stones should not be priced as high, or higher than blues since the former are less than premium stones.

An all white stone is considered of no value in jewelry, though there may be streaks and layers of white marbled with blues and greens.

Pattern

How visually appealing is the stone?  Because of the way larimar was formed, marbling of the various shades of deep blue, to light blues to white is prevalent, giving different stones a more or less stimulating pattern effect.  This qualification is largely subjective.

Luster

How well does the surface reflect light?  Does it gleam or sparkle at different angles or is it mostly a dull polish?

Clarity

Is it free of inclusions (non-mineral material enclosed within the mineral), or does it contain noticeable imperfections like specks or flecks within the stone?

Translucence

How well does light transmit, or pass through the stone?

Chatoyancy

An optical effect likened to the luminous reflectance from the sheen of silk.  Chatoyance results from the cut of the stone; whether its base is cut parallel to the grain, or fiber.

Generally speaking, the best larimar will be:

•    From sky blue to deep cobalt blue in color
•    Of mixed coloration with evocative patterning
•    Highly polished
•    Clear, translucent, and silky in appearance

Hardness

Larimar may be between a 5 – 7 on the hardness scale, or about equal to that of Amethyst.   This makes it good for jewelry as it will not scratch easy or lose its luster.

Caveat on AAA ratings

Unlike diamonds there is no standard scale for gemstone ratings set by any accredited organization.  At one time the term AAA had been used throughout the industry to denote the highest quality grading.  However because there are no verifiable standards nor any oversight into how gemstone vendors grade their merchandise, the term has devolved from overuse and no longer has the meaning it once may have.

To demonstrate this, the rating below AAA will be supposed to be AAB.  Yet it is nearly impossible to find a single merchant advertising a larimar ring or other jewelry as AAB.  This fact alone demonstrates that there is no partiality on the subject and that the term AAA is being used purely to hype the value of a product.

Further Information



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