Byreuvenveksler
April 19, 2021
5 min read

A for Aquamarine

A for Aquamarine
A for Aquamarine

Clear as a tear, aquamarine gemstones radiate the colors and brightness of a seawater and symbolise purity of spirit and soul.

Description

Aquamarine is the greenish blue variety of beryl mineral. Its crystals are known to be large in size and relatively clean, making them particularly valuable to collectors of mineral specimens.

Mineral: beryl
Color: greenish blue like seawater
Mosh Hardness: 7,5 – 8
Origin: Brazil, India, Colombia, Zambia, Angola, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, the USA and  the Urals
Superpower: protects travelers, calms and soothes
Birthstone: March
Anniversary: 19th wedding anniversary

History 

The word «aquamarine» comes from two Latin words – ‘aqua’ and ‘marina’, meaning ‘water of the sea’. This gem was considered to calm sea waves and keep sailors safe. 

According to the ancient Roman legend, the sea god Neptune obtained the stone after it had fallen out of the sirens’ jewel box and been washed up to the shore. 

A for Aquamarine
Van Cleef & Arpels sketch of the Aquamarine necklace

Widely known and praised for its unmatched color, in the ancient world aquamarine was used by sailors as a barometer. If it turned blurry and almost green, a storm or a cyclone was on its way, and if the stone radiated the color of bright skies, it meant that the weather would be calm and sunny. 

The most famous example of this gem is – without any doubt – the aquamarine that England’s Queen Elizabeth received as a gift from the president and the people of Brazil. She then had an outstanding tiara made with it. 

A for Aquamarine
Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara

Aquamarines are definitely fantastic gemstones for evening occasions because they glitter and gleam even in dim light. Nowadays, it is one of favourite gems for many contemporary jewelry designers as even the palest blue gems are stunning. In addition to that, these jewels provide such an assortment of shapes and cuts, that it gives designers great freedom of their artistic expression.

A for Aquamarine
Princess Diana wearing her Asprey Aquamarine cocktail ring

Lucky charm

Aquamarine is a gemstone of water, that’s why since ancient times it was considered a talisman of sailors. It helps those who cannot swim and are afraid of water. Moreover, just like seawater, the stone calms and soothes an anxious person. 

The ancients believed that the color of this gem can determine the weather and the mood of its owner: it is delicately blue in sunny weather, as well as when its owner has a calm and clear soul. If the weather is cloudy, and the owner is in a bad mood, this crystal becomes greenish-blue, and when sad and melancholic, it becomes even cloudy. Also, our ancestors noticed that before the storm, the aquamarine ring would become heavy and even tight on the finger. 

A for Aquamarine
Cartier Aquamarine&Diamond necklace, circa 1940

The French have long considered this gem the key to a happy marriage. Lovers, forced to part for a while, exchanged jewelry with this gem – and then the separation seemed less difficult to them.

Quality factors

Color

The range of aquamarine shades is pretty narrow: it can be blue, slightly greenish blue, greenish blue, strongly greenish blue, or green-blue. The most valuable color is a dark blue to slightly greenish blue with moderately strong intensity. In other words, the purer and more intense the blue color – the more valuable the stone. 

Clarity

Most faceted aquamarines are eye-clean. However, in natural crystals, you can often see gas bubbles in the form of chrysanthemums, snowflakes or stars. Such inclusions give individuality to the stone and often increase its value. Moreover, in some beryl crystals, there are parallel inclusions — usually long hollow or liquid-filled tubes — to allow cutters to fashion the rough to show a cat’s-eye.

Cut

Aquamarines can be cut into almost any shape. However, cutters often prefer to fashion them in merald, round or oval brilliant shapes. 

Carat weight

The aquamarines’ size may vary from very small to very large gems – some even reach up to 100 Ibs! 

For example: the largest aquamarine was found in 1910, in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It weighed 244 lbs. (110 kg) and measured 19 in. (48 cm) in length and 15 in. (38 cm) in diameter.

Reuven’s comment

“Aquamarines are exceptionally beautiful gems. 

However, there is one species that deserves a special mention – Santa Maria Aquamarines. These finest gemstones come from the Santa Maria de Itabira mine in Brazil. They are highly valuable and sought-after and are famed for their unusually deep blue saturation and clarity that is even difficult to imagine. A real drop of pure water! Unfortunately, the Santa Maria mine has been exhausted today. But still, on very, very rare occasions, gems mined in Africa share the same exceptional color shade and clarity as the original Brazilian gems. 

High Jewelry Maisons frequently use Aquamarines in their collections. This gem is a great choice for a cocktail ring or any other jewelry piece. Elegance – and nothing superfluous”.

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