Montesino International, a recognized leader in the creation, production and manufacturing of Destination® and specialty jewelry, is expanding beyond the niche market to attract jewelry fashionistas with the launch of its new Mar Azul™ Larimar Jewelry Collection by Montesino. The Mar Azul™Larimar Jewelry line embraces the beauty of Larimar, a recently discovered sea-blue gemstone mined in a remote mountain region in the Caribbean Basin.
Mitchell Ousley, lead product designer and President of Montesino International, combines the unique Larimar gemstone with sterling silver and gold to create totally unique, rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces from classic to dramatic, each with its own custom flair.
“I enjoyed breaking away from my traditional design work to create this line of fashion jewelry for the cost-conscious consumer,” added Ousley. “My designs have never been about being trendy – they are about emotional connection, personal style and affordability, as well as reflecting the images and experiences that have inspired me. I was immediately motivated when I first saw the rough Larimar slab -- I knew that I wanted to create a new line of jewelry that would bring the beauty of this stone to a wider audience.”
As a Graduate Gemologist, Ousley possesses a great respect for gems and his tastes are more elusive than others in his field. “I know there are many people who enjoy the spirit of a fine story and Larimar has that, as well as a color and beauty to match the clearest waters of any sea, ocean or sky,” noted Ousley.
According to Ousley, Larimar can only be found high on an isolated mountain top in the Dominican Republic, where miners manually work the deposits of this unique Caribbean gemstone. Larimar was given its name by Miguel Mendez, a lapidary artisan who first worked on this gemstone. The name “Larimar” comes from his daughter’ name, Larissa, and the Spanish word, “mar,” meaning “ocean” (from the beautiful range of colors of the Caribbean waters). The Gemological Institute of America has identified Larimar as a blue pectolite found nowhere else in the world.
TheMar Azul™Larimar Jewelry Line by Montesino will be available for sale beginning in May 2009 at hundreds of fine jewelry retailers throughout the United States and the Caribbean. A dedicated website featuring the entireMar Azul™Larimar Jewelry Line is currently in development. Retail pricing begins at $89.