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Aquamarine Buying Guide
The basic color of this gem is light blue but it is found in all possible shades of seawater. The color hues vary from dark blue to sky blue with a trace of green in it. This variation occurs as the color of seawater of two seas cannot be similar. Bright light blue color with full transparency looks amazing and is most in demand. Generally aquamarine has even distribution of color throughout the surface.
A deeper blue aquamarine is the most valued of all aquamarines. But some people prefer the greenish-blue or bluish-green hues of aquamarine because of the vivid colors; and these are relatively less expensive. The pale blue aquamarine, if cut well, can dazzle almost like a diamond, for a fraction of the money spent.
Aquamarine is a transparent stone free from inclusions and flaws. Usually, it is clean and if inclusions are found then they are removed while cutting. Cutting the rough stone is quite easy. Cutters are able to achieve imaginative cuts and shapes in aquamarine. It looks overwhelming in every new cut. In fact, modern cuts have extensively made the gem so popular.
When buying an aquamarine, choose a higher carat. Large aquamarines are not rare and a little increase in carat does not affect the price much. Moreover, the higher carat stones carry the best color.
Aquamarine makes fabulous jewelry. It can be paired with other gemstones like diamonds, emerald, red garnets etc. Jewelry designs holding a big large stone in the center with small diamonds around it look fantastic. It is suitable for daily wear as its hardness protects it from being scratched.
Aquamarine Treatment & Enhancements
It is a norm in the gem trade for almost all gems to undergo some form of treatment or the other. In fact, literary evidences of treatments of gems are found as far back as Pliny the Elder(23-79 AD). Clarity and color of a gem improve drastically with heat treatment. Due to the permanent nature of this treatment the gemstones do not alter in quality, only in appearance.
Heat treatment has a permanent effect on these stones and the color spreads deeply and uniformly into the stone.
Most aquamarines have been provided with heat treatment in order to produce the popular blue-green colors from the less sought after yellow or pale stones. It is a generally accepted practice.
There are other controversial treatments that some gems in the industry undergo, but at Angara we have the policy of apprising our customers of what they are buying, so we don't deal in such gemstones. All treatments at Angara are of a permanent nature.
Aquamarine stones need to be cleaned often to keep their brilliant sparkle. A thorough, soft brush scrubbing with a commercial jewelry cleaner or liquid detergent and water is appropriate to care for your gemstone. This needs to be done at intervals such as every third or fourth time you wear it.
The Origin of Aquamarine
The prime source of aquamarine is Madagascar. It produces gemstones in dark blue to light blue shades. Brazil also offers large quantity, high quality stones and has become the most abundant supplier of aquamarine. The "Santa Maria" class of aquamarines from Brazil is the most celebrated of aquamarines in the world. These particular gemstones have a rare, intense blue hue, which is the most prized color in an aquamarine. Similar, "Santa Maria Africana" aquamarines are produced in Mozambique, Africa. Other sources are Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. It is also found in US and Russia.
Aquamarine in History
The name aquamarine has a Latin origin - "aqua"' meaning sea and "mare" meaning water. According to legend, aquamarine originated in the treasure chest of mermaids and since then has been associated with the ocean. Greek sailors wore aquamarines as amulets to please the Sea God, Neptune (or Poseidon). This gem was considered sacred to him.
The Sumerians, Egyptians, and Hebrews also admired and valued aquamarine greatly. It was a symbol of happiness and everlasting youth.
Another Roman legend stated that the stone absorbs the atmosphere of young love: "When blessed and worn, it joins in love, and does great things." Aquamarine was considered the most appropriate gift for a bride by her groom on the morning following the consummation of their marriage. In the Christian era, aquamarine was identified with the Apostle, St. Thomas. Identifying a certain jewel with one of the twelve apostles was a common practice at that time.
Aquamarine Fun Facts
- It is believed that an aquamarine rekindles love in a marriage. Aquamarine is also deemed to bring joy and wealth to the wearer.
- It is said to help in overcoming depression, grief and phobias. Aquamarine is also believed to help cure insomnia.
- The name of the mineral family of aquamarine is beryl, which makes it the sister to emeralds.
- The largest known aquamarine was found in Brazil in 1920. It was 19 inches long, 16 inches wide and weighed 243 pounds. This amazing specimen was greenish on the outside, blue on the inside, and so transparent that objects were clearly visible through its length. A green 13-pound uncut piece of the outer portion of the crystal resides in the American Museum of Natural History.
- A lesser known modern fact is that Beryl is the state mineral of New Hampshire, and that Aquamarine is the official stone of the state of Colorado.
Aquamarine is the birthstone for the month of March, as well as the stone for zodiac signs Scorpio and Pisces.
Aquamarine jewelry is also a popular gift for 16th and 19th wedding anniversaries.