One Of The Rarest Minerals On The Planet
In 2012, I was living in Arlington, TX where I befriended the kind folks at Power of the Rainbow. The owner, Tray Bradford showed me something one day for my jewelry blog. The stone, he’d told me, was a very rare mineral known as Jeremejevite. He let me hold it and take photos of it for my blog which was on Blogger at the time.
It’s been on my bucket list ever since. I’ve seen it at gem shows (for a few hundred dollars for a small piece) and have seen some beautifully faceted ones online. It wasn’t until I shared an Etsy link on Twitter talking about this rare gem and that I’d planned to get it.
I got it in a very unexpected and kind way that really melted my heart. These Jeremejevite pieces were sold as a lot of 10 for $99. They are around the size that Tray had. The gift came with a note and I just want to say that whoever you are, I appreciate you.
What Is Jeremejevite?
What is Jeremejevite besides a super long name? Pronounced ye-REM-ay-ev-ite. Jeremejevite is a colorless, sky blue, or pale yellow stone. Jeremejevite is a rare aluminum borate mineral with variable fluoride and hydroxide ions. Its chemical formula is Al6B5O15(F,OH)3.
The highest quality comes from Namibia. In nature, it occurs in small obelisk-shaped crystals and has in the past been mistaken for Aquamarine. It was named after Russian mineralogist Pavel Jeremejev, who discovered the mineral in 1883.
The International Gem Society (IGS) notes that there have been new sources of Jeremejevite recently discovered but it still remains a prized collector’s gem. It has a hexagonal crystal system and comes mostly in pale blue to bright blue. There are other colors such as green and ranging from pale golds to browns. Violet is even rarer.
The Handbook of Mineralogy points out that the mineralogist who its named after was named Honors Pavel Vladimirovich Eremeev–that last name has been translated into German: Jeremejev. He was the first to recognize this mineral species. The gem is mostly found in Namibia or Russia.
The type of geological environment where Jeremejevite is found is in granite pegmatites. Sometimes Jeremejevite has inclusions of growth lines and zoning that resemble fingerprints.
These are actually partially healed fractures with fluid-filled channels. When I get the tools, I’d love to look at my pieces under a microscope and see what I find.
Jeremejevite doesn’t have any cleavage and it isn’t brittle which is great for being cut into gemstones. However, due to its rarity, it’s not often cut into gems. It’s priced around $1,500 to $2,000 per carate and faceted gemstones are rarely found larger than a single carat.
Jeremejevite is a piezoelectric which simply means that it will produce an electric current if you were to apply mechanical force to it. Today, there are a total of six deposits. When I first came upon this gem in 2012, there were only two known deposits.