A Photo of Aquaprase™ Rough
While not very often, anytime a new gem is rumored to be found, the GIA Graduate Gemologist https://www.gia.edu/gem-education/program-graduate-gemologist and jewelry designer in me wants to do cartwheels! This gemstone is the first to be discovered in the twenty-first century.
A new type of chalcedony was submitted to GIA’s Carlsbad laboratory by Yianni Melas of Greece. According to Melas, this material originated in Africa, although a more precise location has not been made available. The translucent material displayed a vibrant
bluish-green color and is currently marketed under the trade name “Aquaprase.” Although chalcedony varieties such as chrysoprase are well known and occur in yellowish green and greenish blue colors, the color of this material was distinctly different from any African chalcedony examined by GIA to date.
The Discovery of Aquaprase™
Once upon a time… and so the discovery story of the elegant AQUAPRASE™ begins, one would think. Contrary to this, AQUAPRASE™ is a very newly discovered jewel hidden inside the earth, recently exposed in a remote location in Africa.
In 2013, veteran gem explorer Yianni Melas discovered a brand-new blue-green gem in Africa. Over the years people had stumbled upon this stone during their exploits and everyone seemed to have different thoughts on what it was — some thought it was opal, others thought it to be chrysoprase and some believed it was chrysocolla. No one really saw any worth in it, but Melas took a pebble with him and was determined to find out where it came from and what it was.
Seeking to get a final, conclusive word on what he held, in 2015 Melas sent a sample to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Eventually, he received a phone call that said he had found “something incredible.” It was not a chrysoprase or a chrysocolla. It was a chalcedony that has never been discovered before. The uniqueness of the find led Mr. Melas to set up the mine and start the mining operation, followed by the manufacturing and distribution of the stone being controlled by Avant Chordia.
Coining the Name Aquaprase™
After the discovery of the stone, as part of the efforts to market the final product and ensure that consumers could be confident that the blue-green chalcedony they were purchasing was guaranteed to be 100% natural and untreated, it was decided to coin the gemstone AQUAPRASE™. The name was suggestive of the variety of blue colors found in the stone while giving a nod to the waters of the Aegean Sea and the lush green vegetation surrounding Greece, Melas’ homeland. Subsequently, it was decided to jointly register AQUAPRASE™ as a trademark to market this bluish-green chalcedony. Because of control of the mine and the rough stones that come out of it, the blue-green chalcedony is mined, distributed and marketed as AQUAPRASE™.
The Beauty of a Rare Gem
A new super-gem, drawing its colors from chromium and nickel, AQUAPRASE™ is a unique gemstone holding mother nature and picturing its richness. It encompasses the sand to the earth tone where you want to dig your toes into. The white swirls are the waves breaking when hitting the rocks. Everything happens under a clear blue sky in some to an early morning dawn pale green when the weather is overcast.
A rarest of rare gem, a secret mystery since centuries, as beautiful and lavish as can be, it outshines all the other gemstones you have ever owned, seen, and felt. Every piece of AQUAPRASE™ is different. No two stones are identical. They are really one of a kind. Each one tells a different story.
From a jewelry designer's perspective, it is an absolute joy to create designer necklaces and rings as well as designer earrings using AQUAPRASE™. Considering the coloration of these gemstones, I love to pair it with 14k Rose Gold which brings the richness and warmth of the stone front and center.
View and Shop AQUAPRASE™ Designer Jewelry here: