Happy Birthday, Aquamarine!

Did you know that Aquamarine was used by men at sea for good luck and was believed to be the treasure of mermaids? With its mesmerising greenish blue colour, I see why!


Although it has been popular for many years, there was a sudden spike in interest and popularity after Meghan Markle wore an aquamarine cocktail ring after her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018. This gorgeous piece once belonged to his mother, Princess Diana, along with a matching bracelet.


I was working at a coloured gemstone wholesaler at the time and remember receiving numerous calls regarding large emerald cut aquamarines throughout 2018 and 2019, we ended up selling some gorgeous gems!


Princess Diana wearing a large emerald cut aquamarine ring holding a glass

Let's begin with some fun facts:

  • Aquamarine is a part of the beryl family (along with emerald and morganite)

  • Its colour ranges from blue to greenish blue

  • Aquamarine is derived from two Latin words: aqua meaning "water" and marina meaning "of the sea"

  • Most of the aquamarine on the market is light blue

  • Deeper blue colours (as pictured above) are typically more expensive

  • Almost all aquamarine on the market is eye-clean (no noticeable inclusions)

  • Aquamarine can be confused with a much less expensive stone, Blue Topaz

  • Aquamarine crystal structure is elongated, which is why it is typically cut into elongated shapes, such as emerald cuts, ovals and elongated cushions


two long aquamarine rough crystals on a white host rock on a black background

To find out more about why certain gemstones are only cut into certain shapes, visit my previous post: Let's get in shape!


Source

Brazil has been the world's most important source of aquamarine since 1811, with most mines located in the northeast Minas Gerais. This is where Princess Diana's aquamarine was sourced, along with other aquas in Queen Elizabeth II's collection.


Other, newer sources include Nigeria, Madagascar, Mozambique and Pakistan.



oval aquamarine diamond halo white gold engagement ring cocktail ring in a velvet beige ring box


Availability


Aquamarine forms in large crystals, with some specimens reportedly weighing up to 100 lbs. Consequently, it is available in a large variety of shapes and sizes making it perfect for large statement pieces such as cocktail rings as well as smaller jewellery items. But don’t go too small, the smaller the stone, the lighter the colour looks.

Larger stones show more saturated colour. This is also the case for another stone from the beryl family - morganite.


To find out more about this gorgeous peachy gem, visit my previous post:

The Marvellous Morganite



long aquamarine rough crystal on a white host rock on a black background


Treatments


Aquamarine is heat treated in order to remove the unwanted yellow and brown colour and leave a purer blue hue. Due to the lack of inclusions in aqua, heat treatment is undetectable and the colour is permanent.


In order for the gem to receive an aquamarine name, it must have a blue hue. Untreated beryl which does not show a strong enough blue colour is sometimes sold as green beryl (below).


loose emerald cut green beryl on a white background


March Birthstone


Aquamarine is also known for the following traits:

  • a stone of courage, hope and health

  • facilitates spiritual awareness

  • calms, soothes, reduces stress and helps letting go

  • offers a sense of peace, tranquility and regeneration

  • linked to the making of new friends

lady's hand wearing an emerald cut aquamarine ring with baguette cut side diamonds in white gold light pink manicure nail polish on a white silk background

Do you know what powers and qualities your birthstone holds?

Visit my previous post titled Beauty and Power to find out!


Durability


In terms of hardness, aquamarine scores a 7.5 - 8 out of 10 on Moh's scale.

With sapphires and rubies at 9 and diamonds at 10, these can scratch your aqua if not stored properly or if they rub against each other.


Although I would not recommend aquamarine for an engagement ring, it makes a great option for large cocktail rings and other jewellery such as pendants and earrings.


For a safe and easy way to clean your aqua jewellery, simply use a soft toothbrush and soapy water.



oval aquamarine diamond halo pendant and link chain in yellow gold on a white background

For more tips visit my previous post:

10 easy tips to keep your jewellery Clean and Damage-Free


Is aquamarine on your wish list? Tsarina Gems will be delighted to hear about it!

Contact us via our Homepage


Looking for inspiration? Visit our Instagram page for more stunning jewellery ideas