This is a gorgeous all-natural aquamarine from Nasarawa State, Nigeria. This gem comes from a small find of unusually deep blue and unusually pleochroic aquamarine found in early 2019. We managed to acquire the entire find, which totaled less than one one kilo of rough, most very small and only suitable for cutting melee. In total there were fewer than 75 gems from this find that weighed more than one carat. Most of the gems have minor inclusions, including a fascinating dusting of iridescent thin needles of what is likely hematite or ilmenite. Analysis by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) indicated that the aquamarine from this find is unusually enriched in alkali metals as well as chromium, but the striking color is the result of very high levels of iron. Perhaps the most striking thing about the gems from this find is the easily visible pleochroism, which shows as zones of deep teal blue and a lighter aqua blue which seem to roll and move around the gem as it is held in the hand. In honor of locality in which it was found and the rich teal color, we have decided to call these gems “Nasarawa Teal Aqua.”
This particular gem is one of the larger faceted stones from this find; it is faceted in our custom “Helena” brilliant oval design, specially optimized for aquamarine. The resulting gem is bright and scintillating in the hand and very striking. The gem weighs 1.34 carats and measures 7.9 x 6.7 x 5.0 mm. A true collector’s gemstone, it would make a superb center stone for a ring or pendant.