Aquaprase: Gemstone of Earth and Sea
Crystal healers and rock hounds alike are giddy over the discovery of a new gemstone: aquaprase. It’s a lovely blue-green stone from Africa with bands of natural brown matrix and cloud-like inclusions. It’s airy and earthy all in one.
Metaphysically, aquaprase unites the outward-facing, perspective-enhancing qualities of blue gemstones with the earthy stability of its green chalcedony brethren, like chrysoprase. In fact, for years everyone in the gemstone world assumed it was the ugly stepchild of chrysoprase. It was so completely overlooked that there were big hunks of it just laying around on shelves around the mines. But as soon as gem explorer Yianni Melas shone a light on the stone, literally, he realized there was more to it than met the eye.
A World Within a Stone
According to the modern lore, there were chunks of aquaprase strewn all around the African bush, and gem hunters passed them over thinking they were just low-quality opals or run-of-the-mill, discolored chalcedonies. But don’t let that put you off. Any amateur gem hunter with a metal detector who’s had the luck to find a rough gemstone knows how awesome the inside of a stone can be. Even when its exterior looks like something you’d use in your landscaping.
As part of legitimizing aquaprase as its own independent variety of gem, the Gemological Institute of America ran numerous tests using chemical analysis and visible spectroscopy to ensure that it was in no way, to put it in technical terms, faking it.
Using an analysis method called Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence or EDXRF, gemologists found that aquaprase has a much higher chromium content than its yellow-green and blue-green chalcedony cousins. In terms of healing, chromium is said to balance depression, treat hypoglycemia, and help reduce carb-cravings. As for its effect on the stone, well, chromium is likely what gives it that brilliant blue color.
In addition to its distinctive hue, gem-lovers are attracted to the planetary quality of aquaprase. Each piece is completely unique, some with rich metal oxide inclusions that look like islands floating in an ocean, others with druzies and milky white inclusions that look like clouds hovering over a mystic seascape.
There was a time when the fashion was to dye chalcedonies to get a perfectly uniform stone. But the days of synthetic perfection are history. Modern gem-lovers are all about celebrating each stone’s individuality, its so-called flaws, and exploring the spiritual metaphor of a little rock being the container for worlds within mysterious worlds.
The metaphysical properties of aquaprase stem from its elemental relationship to the throat chakra, represented on the color spectrum by blues. In a similar manner as aquamarine, aquaprase helps the wearer tune into their communication centers and harness their innate abilities for meditation and impactful speech. It encourages an awareness of even inhalation and exhalation, allowing the wearer to absorb all aspects of a situation before jumping to conclusions.
We so often hear about earth, water, air, fire, and ether as separate natural elements, but one of the great gifts of aquaprase is that it unites water and earth in a way that mirrors the reality of the natural world.
It encompasses both the energy of the ocean waves and the granular sand of the earth, removing them from abject isolation by recognizing their interconnectedness and importance to the whole. Simply put, it’s a reminder that we’re all a part of the natural rhythms of the earth and sea.
Aquaprase holds within its mineral structure the power of the cyclical water energy that creates waves. It marries that energy with the inevitable dynamic moment when those rolling waves hit the ocean floor and crest into the beautiful formations that so capture the human imagination. All together, it makes for a pretty cool vibe for one little stone.
Who Should Use It?
Aquaprase is the ultimate diamond in the rough story. Since for years no one thought to examine it for mineral qualities beyond that of a typical chalcedony, it was simply sitting in the ground waiting for someone to recognize its greatness. It was in no hurry to be found, yet at the same time it definitely wasn’t dragging its feet. It was just there, existing.
Aquaprase represents a balance between the kinetic and static parts of our beings, making it a great stone for people taking on big life endeavors like going back to school. It helps the wearer see the big picture and be open to their role in it, whatever that may be.
It’s also known, not surprisingly, to be a great stone for surfers, swimmers, sailors, and others who spend a lot of time navigating the ebb and flow of the sea.
If you’ve ever been called to any of the chalcedonies, try holding a piece of aquaprase next time you can get your hands on it. See where it takes you!
Feature Image: rough aquaprase pieces courtesy of Gemporia
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