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!
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
To find out more about why certain gemstones are only cut into certain shapes, visit my previous post: Let's get in shape!
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.
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:
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).
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
Do you know what powers and qualities your birthstone holds?
Visit my previous post titled Beauty and Power to find out!
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.
For more tips visit my previous post:
Is aquamarine on your wish list? Tsarina Gems will be delighted to hear about it!
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