Aquamarine has a narrow colour range of blue to greenish-blue, with varying saturations. Most material is light greenish-blue, but the most sought after colour is dark blue to slightly greenish-blue with a strong intensity.
Where are they mined?
The best quality aquamarines are mined in Brazil, which produces large, gem-quality stones. Other mining locations include Madagascar (which produces a unique, dark blue variety), the United States, the Soviet Union, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nigeria.
Qualities to look for
The stronger and purer the colour of an aquamarine, the higher it’s value, with smaller, top-colour stones valued more per carat than larger stones of paler colours. Most aquamarine is therefore heat treated to intensify the colour saturation. It is important that the stone is well cut, as this will impact the colour and brilliance of the finished gem, and most aquamarines often have to be fairly large after being cut to show naturally intense, dark colour.
High quality aquamarines should be eye clean without any visible inclusions.
How to wear
Aquamarine is a great, durable stone for use in both fashion jewellery and everyday or bridal pieces, with a hardness of 7.5-8/10. It most commonly is available in round, oval, pear and emerald cut shapes, making it perfect for use in rings, necklaces and earrings.
What makes them special?
Aquamarine is the birthstone for March, and is the gem for the 19th wedding anniversary.
The name aquamarine comes from the Latin ‘aqua marinus’, meaning ‘water of the sea’, and it was believed to keep sailors safe at sea.
In Ancient Rome, women would receive a gift of aquamarine from her husband following the consummation of marriage.
In the United States, aquamarine is the state stone of Colorado.
Aquamarines in history
In ancient times, Egyptians and Sumarians believed aquamarine was a symbol of happiness and eternal youth, and many Egyptian tombs and burial sites contained aquamarine relics.
In the 1800’s, aquamarines of a sea green colour were the most popular, but today the market covets a richer, dark blue colour.
In 1910 the Minas Gerais mine in Brazil produced the largest gem-quality crystal to date, which weighed 110kg and measured 48cmx38cm in diameter.