What is Grandidierite?
One of the rarest gemstones in the world, grandidierite is a bluish-green to greenish-blue stone that was first discovered in 1902. Found in Madagascar by Alfred Lacroix, it was named in honor of Alfred Grandidier, a French explorer responsible for sharing much of Madagascar’s natural history and mapping its lands.
Facet able material is quite rare, and a very limited quantity is available in the worldwide jewelry market. As of 2018, this gemstone is considered to be one of the most expensive gems in world. The extreme rarity of gem-quality material makes it difficult to establish a consistent market value. The highest quality examples of this stone have fetched up to $20k per carat!
Determining Grandidierite Value
Is grandidierite valuable? The value of colored stones is typically determined by a combination of its color, cut, clarity and carat weight. These guidelines will help you choose grandidierite for your collection.
- Grandidierite Color
Grandidierite is typically displays a vibrant bluish-green to greenish-blue color. It’s a trichroic gem, potentially displaying hues of dark greenish blue, green or colorless depending on how the stone is viewed. In some specimens, the colorless quality may appear light yellow.
Gems with a deeply saturated neon shade are considered highly valuable. Grandidierite derives its distinctive color from traces of iron. Gems with higher concentrations of iron will display a deeper blue color.
- Grandidierite Clarity
Most gem-quality material should be transparent to translucent in appearance. The stone takes a vitreous luster after polishing. Specimens with high transparency are considered high-quality and extremely rare. An eye clean grandidierite is very valuable while opaque stones are more affordable.
- Grandidierite Cut
Grandidierite has an orthorhombic crystal system and perfectly formed crystals will appear in a cubic shape. The gemstone shows cleavage in two directions with uneven fractures and elongated crystals, making it a challenge to cut.
Oval shapes are the most popular gem cut as it retains carat weight. Opaque specimens of grandidierite are frequently formed into cabochons for a fine appearance.
- Grandidierite Carat
Grandidierite is generally found in small sizes. As cabochons, translucent grandidierite can range from 1 to 10 carats. Faceted material is generally smaller, rarely above one carat. Most material currently available is opaque.
The largest known grandidierite in the world is a 78.07 carat specimen owned by Joseph Fam from Singapore, as identified by the Guinness World Records.
The gemstone is not known to be treated in any way.
Ranking 7 to 7.5 on Mohs scale of hardness, grandidierite is suitably resistant to scratching or abrasion. It’s a durable gemstone for daily use but should still be treated with care due to its cleavage properties and inclusions, which may make it more susceptible to damage by impact.
The best way to care for your stone is through the standard gem and jewelry care. Scrub with a soft bristled brush using lukewarm soapy water. Rinse with fresh cool water, and dry with a soft cloth.
Avoid ultrasonic or steam cleaners as these devices can damage the stone and can lead to external abrasions. Avoid exposure to heat or harsh chemicals, which can also damage the appearance of the gem.
Store grandidierite jewelry in a clean and dry place such as a fabric-lined jewelry case or box with compartments and partitions to prevent jewels from scratching each other.
Who Can Wear Grandidierite?
Gem lovers who cherish collecting rare gemstones and admire their beauty will adore this exotic gemstone. With blue to green shades and mystic charm, rare grandidierite exemplifies the age old charm of the sea.
Set in gold, silver or platinum, this gemstone provides a refreshing touch of grace in a variety of jewelry styles, from rings, earrings, pendants or bracelets. It best complements bright yellows and rich reds.
The delightful beauty of grandidierite makes it a perfect pick to wear for daytime engagements or evening outings.
How Does Grandidierite Compare to Other Green Stones?
Grandidierite is a collector’s delight as it is one of the rarest gems in world. With its vitreous appearance and cool hue, the gem is an excellent alternative to green gems like green tourmaline, peridot, Brazilian mint garnet and green fluorite.
Where Does Grandidierite Come From?
Even though grandidierite was first discovered in 1902, gem-quality stone remained elusive for the next century. Not until the 2000s and 2010s did material suitable for jewelry use surface.
Gem quality grandietrite has only been found in Sri Lanka and Madagascar. Shop LC sources our supply of grandidierite from Madagascar. It was first identified in 2014, near the town of Tranomaro, in Southern Madagascar.
Before that, in 2000, a limited deposit of gem-quality, facetable grandidierite was found in Sri Lanka.
Apart from these two locations, a small amount of this gemstone has been obtained from worldwide locations, but always in limited supply and rarely suitable of lapidary work.
How is Grandidierite Mined?
Grandidierite is generally mined by hand due to its remote location, limited production and irregular veins. Laborers use spades and pickaxes to dig deep pits. They manually extract blue crystals and cautiously remove the valuable mineral from this rough material.
Further complicating matters, the remote location means that miners must traverse treacherous terrain to reach the mine. Besides these natural threats, bandits are known to infest the area, also threatening their safety.
What Does Grandidierite Mean?
This amazing gemstone is associated with faith, trust, patience and respect.
Gem therapists suggest this color of gemstone is known to relate to throat chakra. When energized, it reputedly opens one to new experiences and is used to treat ailments of the ear, nose and throat. In addition, it is believed to aid with opening the bronchial passages and lungs.
It helps create a considerably positive impact of one’s communication, expression and intuition.
Disclaimer: For informational purposes only. These remedies, approaches, and techniques are not a substitute for professional medical care or treatment. They should not be used to treat any ailment without prior consultation with a qualified health care professional.
Is Grandidierite a Birthstone?
It is not an official modern birthstone. Some may prefer it as an alternative to other blue to green birthstones such as aquamarine or turquoise.
- Ranks 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
- Grandidierite displays bluish green to greenish blue hues.
- This stone undergoes no additional known treatment.
- Sourced near Tranomaro, Madagascar.