Let’s Talk about Aquamarine…
Aquamarine has long been a favorite of jewelry designers to use in
designer rings for women.
The most common cut for an aquamarine used in designer rings for
women are the emerald type, followed by oval or pear shaped cuts. It is a
relatively easy stone to cut and is often found in innovative shapes, as
cutters experiment with new forms. Aquamarine rates a 7.5 to 8 on
the hardness scale, making it quite a durable stone to wear. Large
aquamarine stones, ranging from several carats to more than ten carats
are relatively common. Rich blue stones that are several carats in weight
are extremely valuable. Occasionally, aquamarines are found in large
enough places to yield finished gemstones in the 1000 plus carat range.
What is great about the gemstone is that the wide price range makes it
available to almost anyone.
Some ring designers like to work with non-faceted “cabochon” cut aquamarines when creating designer rings for women.
Aquamarine crystals are known to be large in size and relatively clean and
well-formed, making them particularly valuable to collectors of mineral
Aquamarine is the soft pale blue variety of the Beryl family of gemstones, which also includes Morganite, Goshenite, Yellow Beryl, and Emerald. One of the most popular blue gemstones, Aquamarine is steeped in myth and legend. Known as the gem of the sea, even the name ‘Aquamarine’ comes from the Latin ‘aqua’ for ‘water’ and ‘marina’ for ‘of the sea’. Aquamarine can have wonderful clarity, meaning that it dazzles with a bright, energetic sparkle.
The History of Aquamarine
It is easy to see why Aquamarine has always been associated with the sea. Used in jewelry since at least 500 BC, its tropical ocean blue tones effortlessly invoke images of landless skies and the waters below. Once believed to be the treasure of mermaids, it was often worn by sailors and travelers as a talisman to protect against being shipwrecked and to ward off sea sickness. Pliny the Elder (23 AD - 79 AD) said of the gem, "The lovely Aquamarine, which seems to have come from some mermaid's treasure house, in the depths of the summer sea, has charms not to be denied".
Many superstitions and legends told throughout the long history of Aquamarine relate to water and the oceans. One such legend states that the qualities of the gem are especially strong when it has been submerged in water. When Aquamarine's perceived powers appeared to dwindle, the gem would be placed in water on the night of a sparkling full moon to revitalize it. In times gone by, as a very last resort, sailors caught in a storm were believed to have thrown their Aquamarines overboard to calm the gods. The Romans and Greeks both revered the stone in this way and thought of it as the 'sailor's gem'. The Romans even thought it could heal medical ailments of the throat, stomach, and liver.
Back on dry land, Aquamarine was believed to both soothe and prolong relationships, and for this reason is often given as an anniversary gift way before its official listing for the 19th wedding anniversary. It was also once thought to render soldiers invincible and was thus carried into battle as a stone of protection. This 'protection in battle' legend has been reinterpreted by some in the modern age as a form of protection during legal battles. It was also thought to bring rains when they were desperately needed, and even to curse enemies with drought.
The biggest Aquamarine rough ever found weighed a staggering 110kg (243lbs). It was found in Brazil in 1910 and when it was cut down into smaller faceted stones for use in designer rings for womenand other types of jewelry, they collectively weighed over 100,000 carats. The world's biggest faceted Aquamarine is known as the 'Dom Pedro'. The exquisitely faceted piece is shaped like an obelisk, crisscrossed with diagonal detailing that gives it an otherworldly appearance. It weighs in at a staggering 10,363 carats and can be viewed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.
Aquamarine Gemstone Information
Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and is the official gemstone for the 19th wedding anniversary. The gem exhibits a hexagonal crystal system. The largest source of Aquamarine is found in the state of Minas Gerais in south-east Brazil, but today Africa is becoming a strong rival, with mining activities in countries such as Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Pieces from Russian sources are highly sought after not only for their color, but also because the mines are now depleted.
Aquamarine is sometimes found with delicate greenish hues. In recent times it’s been noted that the bluer the stone is the more valuable it is. But as recently as the 19th century it was the sea green colored stones that were sought after by the world’s collectors. Because of its clarity and association with the sea, Aquamarine has long been associated with relaxation and with being soothing and protective.
Whichever variety you own or aspire to collect, Aquamarine is a prized blue gemstone with unparalleled clarity and a soft, delicate tone which radiates life, vibrancy, and brilliance. Aquamarine is simply one of the world’s most popular and well-known gemstones and is an essential addition to any gemstone and jewelry collection.
The beautiful blue hue of aquamarine looks
especially luxe and beautiful when set in 18K yellow gold designer rings