When you think that you have seen it all, our beautiful and unpredictable planet will surprise you once again.
For centuries, the realm of fine jewelry has been dominated by diamonds and rubies, pearls and sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, topazes, aquamarines and tourmalines. Avant-garde jewelers and designers have also experimented with unconventional materials, from bamboo to cola cans. But the Earth had more to offer.
Hidden deep in the mysteries of Africa, an ancient, precious stone, the color of the Greek Aegean Sea, has been patiently waiting to be discovered. People have stumbled upon it time and time again, thinking it was some kind of chrysoprase or opal, but never cared to look deeper to find its true nature and worth.
That is until around the year 2013, when it fell into the curious hands of a Greek gemstone specialist, explorer and advocate for human rights Yianni Melas. Not satisfied with the response from a Swiss gem lab claiming that it was a chrysoprase, Yianni sought a second opinion from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which proved his hypothesis: it was not a chrysoprase, but a new variety of chalcedony, one that the world has never seen before.
Thus, aquaprase became the first new gemstone discovered in the 21st century, or so the legend goes: ‘aqua’ for the blue water of the Aegean Sea, ‘prase’ – meaning ‘leek’ in ancient Greek – for the green shades of the freshly discovered stone.
This summer, Maison Boucheron introduced aquaprase in their rings, necklaces, earrings and bangles. The new Serpent Bohème collection is a modern take on the iconic Boucheron’s jewelry line, first launched in 1968.
The absolute classic of the Maison, it has glided through decades, changing its ingredients, from diamonds to amethysts, citrines, onyx, mother-of-pearl, turquoise and lapis lazuli, but never changing its free, bohemian spirit. Moving freely through times, tastes and styles, the refined, artistic, light and classy Serpent Bohème collection offers the kind of jewels that can easily be passed through generations, from mother to daughter, and further, and which can be worn by women from any era and of any age.
A serpent – one of the oldest mythological symbols of eternity – has been present in the Maison for more than 130 years. Around 1888, Monsieur Frédéric Boucheron made a snake-shaped necklace for his wife as a gift for their wedding anniversary, a symbol of his love and a talisman to protect her while he traveled.
Today, elegant and contemporary, pure and refined, the new Boucheron’s Serpent Bohème Aquaprase collection arrived in time for the jolly and sunny summer months, when you throw off the shackles of heavy winter clothes and face the lightness and seduction of thin silk, linen, satin and lace.
Aquaprase is an alluring stone. With its beautiful, translucent blue-green and baby blue colors, its cloud-like inclusions, attributed to the presence of chromium, zinc and nickel silicates, its hardness and lustrosity, make it a perfect material for jewelry. Just as important, the team mining aquaprаse try to make the process as sustainable and socially fair as possible, giving up to forty percent of the mine’s profits to the government of the country in which the mine is located, and purchasing all raw materials (not the usual top five percent of the ‘best’ stones). Aquaprase is fully natural and not treated chemically to achieve its wonderful blue color, which is an attractive – almost romantic – point for jewelry aficionados concerned about the ethical and environmental side of the business.
A classic, fresh and joyful summery stone, aquaprase in the new Serpent Bohème collection by Boucheron evokes sea and clouds, a feeling of drowsy tranquility and the peace of warm, careless summer days and long, refreshing evenings.
Wear Boucheron’s Serpent Bohème rings, earrings, necklaces and bangles alone or in a combination on a pinky and the ring finger, coupled with each other or with other favorite pieces of jewelry. The free, bohemian spirit, the smell of the sea, the warm sensation of tickly, clean sand will pave your way towards blissful delight.