Aquamarine is a member of the beryl mineral family whose fellow beryl ‘siblings’ include emerald and morganite. Aquamarine is the modern birthstone for March and is also the gemstone given on the 19th wedding anniversary.
With its light blue and pale green tones and usually a crystal clearness, the name “aquamarine is derived from the Latin words for water (aqua) and sea (marina). The best gems combine high clarity with limpid transparency and blue to slightly greenish blue hues. The most valuable shade is a dark blue to slightly greenish blue with moderately strong intensity.
Since it is the seawater stone, ancient Greek and Roman sailors were known to carry the gem with them on long voyages to ensure a safe and prosperous passage across stormy seas.
One pair of 14 karat white gold aquamarine and diamond earrings at Mrs. Jones & Co. See them here.
The Romans believed that if a frog figure was carved on an aquamarine it would help to reconcile enemies and make them friends. During the Middle Ages, the properties of the gemstone were believed to have the ability to reawaken the love of married couples. Last but not least, an aquamarine crystal ball was believed to have mystical powers and was used by Dr. John Dee to caste the horoscope of Queen Elizabeth I in order to determine the best date for her coronation.
The leading producer of aquamarine right now is Brazil. India is a close second. There are also deposits in Australia, Myanmar, China, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In the US there are deposits in Alabama, North Carolina, Maine, Massachusetts and Colorado.
A 14 karat white gold aquamarine disk pendant at Mrs. Jones & Co. See it here.
The aquamarine color is the result of iron impurities within colorless beryl crystal. Aquamarine is pleochroic, which means it shows different colors in different crystal directions. In the case of aquamarine, they’re near colorless and a strong blue.
An 18 karat yellow gold aquamarine and diamond ring. Take a peek here!
A side note – I used to work in the wholesale emerald business, another story for another time but…..talk about a tough business…..the characters you would meet…..guys from the mining areas would come in with crystals to sell that were, how to put this….probably misappropriated from the mining area? Remember the movie Blood Diamond? Transfer that to South America. Remember TIA, This is Africa? Well, this was TIB or TIC, This is Brazil or Columbia. A whole different set of rules or no rules, take your pick.
Anyhoo, I do love the color of aquamarine! How about you?