Mission to Mar

by Alissa Schmidgall

Azure ocean. White sand beaches. Palm trees blowing in the breeze. This could describe any Caribbean island, but in my mind, they describe the Dominican Republic. I had the opportunity to visit this incredible country last October on a mission trip. Although I did get to visit the beach once, most of my time was spent inland in the cities, interacting with the people there. I got to see the part of the Dominican Republic that few tourists get to experience. This trip was one of the most amazing events of my life, and I jumped at the chance to share a little of my experience. So here’s a slice of what the Dominican Republic has to offer.

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Infectious smiles and joyful laughter. I got to hang around a lot of kids in the DR, and they amazed me with their sense of fun and contentment.

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Beautiful country and beautiful people, too. So how does all this relate to jewelry?

Well, the Dominican Republic is also home to a gemstone that is fairly new to the jewelry industry. It’s called larimar, and it’s a gorgeous stone that mirrors the Caribbean Sea with wave-like patterns of turquoise blue.

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Pictured above is a semi-polished piece of the rough larimar stone. The Dominican Republic is the only place in the world where larimar can be found. It is mined from old volcanoes in an area that is roughly one square kilometer in size. Miguel Méndez, one of the discoverers of this stone, named it by combining his daughter’s name, Larissa, with the Spanish word for ocean, “mar.” Thus, we have the name…larimar.

Here at Jack Lewis Jewelers, our Marahlago collection showcases this stone, polished smooth and set in gleaming sterling silver either by itself or alongside other gemstones.

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Each piece of larimar has its own unique pattern and shade of blue, and it complements a variety of styles. It brings the breathtaking Caribbean Sea right to Illinois. So if you’re an ocean or beach lover, you have to come and see larimar for yourself!

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