Grandidierite Gemstone Information
About Grandidierite - History and Introduction
Grandidierite is magnesium aluminum borosilicate and one of the world's rarest gems. In fact, it is often listed as one of the top ten rarest gemstones and one of the most expensive stones in the world. Specimens of grandidierite are rare even in mineral collections and museums. The name, grandidierite was bestowed to the mineral in honor of Alfred Grandidier, a French explorer and geographer who thrice traversed the island of Madagascar; the place where grandidierite was first discovered in 1902 by French mineralogist, Alfred Lacroix. The beautiful greenish-blue color of grandidierite comes from the presence of iron. Transparent grandidierite specimens were pretty much unheard of until the last few years, when a new deposit was discovered in Southern Madagascar and some excitement was generated by a mere 0.29-carat faceted grandidierite gemstone from Sri Lanka. In recent years, an extremely limited number of larger grandidierite gemstones have entered the market, which judging by the past century will likely be the only stones available for a long while.
Identifying Grandidierite Back to Top
Distinguishing characteristics of grandidierite include its Mohs hardness of 7 to 7.5, its vitreous luster, characteristic greenish-blue or bluish-green color and its trichroism; the ability to exhibit three different colors depending on viewing angle. Due to the rarity and value of transparent grandidierite, it is advisable to obtain gemstone certification for any large, transparent faceted stones to confirm its identity, since it can appear similar to teal apatite or Paraiba tourmaline.
Grandidierite; Origin and Sources Back to Top
Most gemstone-quality grandidierite is mined in Madagascar, with some smaller amounts found in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Since its discovery in 1902, very little gem-quality grandidierite was found until a new deposit was discovered in Southern Madagascar in 2014. Gem-quality grandidierite deposits are often very small and become depleted quite soon after their discovery as buyers rush to acquire samples of this rare gem. Therefore, grandidierite remains a serious collector's gemstone.
Buying and Determining Grandidierite Value Back to Top
Grandidierite Gemological Properties: Back to Top
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.
Grandidierite: Related or Similar Gemstones Back to Top
Grandidierite is a chemical analogue of ominelite, which is an iron aluminum borosilicate rather than magnesium aluminum borosilicate. Kornerupine is a rare magnesium aluminum borosilicate gemstone type that is chemically close in composition to grandidierite, as is dumortierite, an aluminum borate silicate mineral that is intergrown with quartz and sold as the rare gemstone, dumortierite quartz.
Gemstones that are associated with grandidierite include serendibite, quartz, sinhalite, enstatite, diopside and tourmaline.
Grandidierite Mythology, Metaphysical and Crystal Healing Properties Back to Top
Due to the rarity of grandidierite, there is little information regarding its crystal healing properties. However, blue gemstones in general are associated with faith, trust, patience and respect. In yogic philosophy, blue; particularly greenish-blue, is associated with the throat chakra, which is related to communication, expression and intuition. Therefore, gemstones with the color of grandidierite are considered to be useful for those who need to develop their self-expression skills.
Grandidierite Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas Back to Top
Since grandidierite is so rare, it is quite unheard of in jewelry. However, it is hard and durable enough to be used in any type of jewelry, if a suitable grandidierite gemstone is available. The bright greenish-blue color of grandidierite gemstones would make eye-catching jewelry, though grandidierite is more of a collector's dream than a jewelry stone. If found and intended for unique jewelry, grandidierite gemstones would not likely be available in calibrated sizes, but custom-jewelry would need to be designed around the size of the grandidierite gemstone. Anyone who owns a grandidierite ring would be lucky indeed.
Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.
Grandidierite Gemstone and Jewelry Care and Cleaning Back to Top
Grandidierite gemstones are quite hard and durable, so they do not require any special care. Yet, all gemstone jewelry requires proper storage and use to keep it looking good and lasting well. This is especially true for rings that are worn daily, which are exposed to more wear and tear than other jewelry items. As a precaution, always remove any grandidierite jewelry before exercising, playing sports, or engaging in household chores such as dishwashing. Store grandidierite gems away from other gems and jewelry to avoid scratches and fractures. It is best to always wrap your gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box for extra protection.
- First Published: October-17-2017
- Last Updated: October-30-2017
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