All The Brilliants

The Skinny on Aquamarine

Aquamarine first appears in Greek historical record (in lapidary form, no less) around 480 – 300 B.C. Then, it was referenced as “sea-green beryl”. Think of it as emerald’s blue cousin!

Many ancient cultures believed it would ensure safe and successful travels to sailors - and protect from seasickness and sea monsters. Aquamarine was the sacred jewel of Poseidon (Greek) and Neptune (Roman), whose origin was from the treasure chests of mermaids. Roman philosopher Pliny (the Elder) wrote: “the lovely aquamarine, which seems to have come from some mermaid’s treasure house, in the depths of a summer sea, has charms not to be denied.”

To Egyptians and Sumerians, it symbolized happiness and eternal youth. During the Middle Ages, it was used for divination and very much in vogue as the most potent material for crystal balls.

Whatever it may symbolize for you today, we've outlined points to help you understand value and what to ask to make an informed decision on the amethyst you will LOVE!


 
Skinny On Aquamarine
 

 
Aquamarine Value Points

This aquamarine is courtesy of Wild & Petsch for the purpose of education - 3.12 carats from Mozambique

Aquamarine in Hand

A special thanks to Wild & Petsch for sharing this 30.48 carat aquamarine from Mozambique with me for the purposes of education.

Aquamarine first appears in Greek historical record (in lapidary form, no less) around 480 – 300 B.C. Then, it was referenced as “sea-green beryl”. Think of it as emerald’s blue cousin!

Many ancient cultures believed it would ensure safe and successful travels to sailors - and protect from seasickness and sea monsters. Aquamarine was the sacred jewel of Poseidon (Greek) and Neptune (Roman), whose origin was from the treasure chests of mermaids. Roman philosopher Pliny (the Elder) wrote: “the lovely aquamarine, which seems to have come from some mermaid’s treasure house, in the depths of a summer sea, has charms not to be denied.”

To Egyptians and Sumerians, it symbolized happiness and eternal youth. During the Middle Ages, it was used for divination and very much in vogue as the most potent material for crystal balls.

Whatever it may symbolize for you today, we've outlined points to help you understand value and what to ask to make an informed decision on the aquamarine you will LOVE!

 

 

THE DOM PEDRO - BERND MUNSTEINER

It is worth mentioning a particular “rock star” among other rock stars, such as the Hope Diamond and Marie Antoinette’s diamond earrings. This aquamarine obelisk stands tall within the halls of the Smithsonian National Gem and Mineral Collection.

It is called the “Dom Pedro”, carved by the celebrated lapidary legend Bernd Munsteiner. He pioneered what is called the fantasy cut, which is every bit as magical as it sounds. Essentially, it is concave cuts carved into the back of gemstones, that dazzles the viewer with light and color.

Something tells me this 10,363 carat fantasy is more than capable of stealing the show!

 

 

LOREN NICOLE 

It goes without saying that @LorenNicoleJewelry’s gemmy charms have personalities all their own. Among the most darling of these is her aquamarine carved hedgehog!

This critter is cozily nestled into a handmade 22 karat ethically sourced gold pendant, which makes this deeply saturated blue aquamarine pop with charisma!

 

 

DAOU JEWELLERY

@DaouJewellery always bursts with BANG and this “One to Three” bespoke bangle does so with aquamarine!

If you are discovering Dalia’s work for the first time, you need to know that she has both STEM and gem credentials! As a 3rd generation jeweler with postgraduate and physics degrees, her designs are inspired by the marvels of our universe.

As you may have (or soon will) read, aquamarine can exist in a range of blues and price points. Beyond what the market dictates, we thought it a wonderful idea to show how the darker and the lighter hues are equally beautiful!

 


Aquamarine Education The Ideal

Aquamarines can occur in a range of blue hues. The most plentiful specimens have a pale blue or slightly greenish blue. Among the most prized are those with an intense, deeply saturated blue or slightly greenish blue. The more intense, pure, deep color, the higher the value. 

Aquamarine Education Origin

Aquamarine is found worldwide in mountainous regions with Brazil being the largest source. It is also mined in Africa, India, Pakistan, South America, Russia, and North America.

Noteworthy is the most revered location of aquamarine: Santa Maria, Brazil. While the mine has been closed since the late 1930's or early 1940's, it produced greatly revered material with stunning rich blues.

Aquamarine Education Treatment

Heat treatment is an accepted practice and is the “norm”. 

In its natural form, most aquamarine material tends to have a bluish green color. The pure blue hue we are most familiar with is primarily achieved through heat treatment. 

As unheated aquamarine is rare, its market value is greater than that of heat treated stones.

Aquamarinet Education Mohs Scale

The Mohs scale of hardness is important to consider when choosing a particular stone for a particular kind of wear. Mohs scale is the degree of mineral “hardness”, measured by the resistance which a smooth surface offers to abrasion: 1 (soft) to 10 (hard). For example, a 9 will scratch a gemstone that is an 8 or below. Simply put, the softer the stone, the more careful you need to be about wearing that stone in jewelry that may be exposed to more wear, such as a ring.

Aquamarine is “7.8” - “8” on the Mohs scale, below diamond at “10” and sapphire and ruby at “9”. These stones would leave a scratch on an aquamarine, but not the other way around.

Aquamarine is 7.8 - 8 on the Mohs Scale - a diamond would scratch  it
Aquamarine Wear and Care

A few jewelry care basics can keep your pieces looking their best, avoid damage and loss of gemstones.

WEAR: When dressing for day or night, jewelry should be the last thing on and the first thing off. Contact with chemicals such as fragrance, hairspray, nail polish remover, household cleaners and chlorine can harm jewelry. Remove jewelry when cleaning, gardening, swimming or playing sports, as contact with hard surfaces can scratch, damage or loosen stones in prongs.

CHECK SETTINGS AND STONES: Inspect jewelry before wearing it to check if stone is chipped, loose or rattles in settings.

CLEANING: All precious metals, gemstones and pearls should be cleaned regularly, but require different care. For example, ultrasonic cleaners can shatter pearls or diminish the appearance of emeralds. For gemstones on the Mohs scale at 7 or above, a simple cleaning solution is warm water with mild soap and soft toothbrush. For those at 6 or below, replace the toothbrush with a soft cloth. Be sure the jewel is thoroughly rinsed and dry prior to storage. A soft polishing cloth will keep any precious metal looking its best. 

STORAGE: Keep jewelry individually stored in a pouch or box to avoid dents, scratching and tangles. Chemicals, humidity and excessive hot/cold conditions can tarnish some metals (apart from high karat gold) and damage gemstones and pearls. 

INSURANCE: For any jewelry of significant value, be sure to have it appraised, file any provenance and gemstone certifications in a secure place and be sure to have it insured.