The basic color of this gemstone is light blue with a hint of green, but the stone is found in all possible shades of the ocean. The color hues vary from dark blue to sky blue with traces of green. A gorgeous color with a full transparency, aquamarines have an even distribution of color throughout the sparkling surface.
A deeper blue aquamarine is the most valued of all aquamarines, but some people prefer the bluish-green or greenish-blue hues of aquamarine because of the vivid colors; and these are relatively less expensive. The pale blue aquamarine can dazzle almost like a diamond, for a fraction of the cost.
Aquamarine is a transparent stone free from inclusions. Cutters are able to envision ideal cuts and shapes in aquamarine as each facet can bring out a new life. When buying an aquamarine, choose one with a higher carat that still brings out the deep blue with a touch of green. Large aquamarines are not rare and a slight increase carat size does not alter the price significantly. Moreover, the higher carat stones carry the best color with their deep reflection.
Aquamarines make fabulous jewelry. Paired with other gemstones such as diamonds, emerald and red garnets can really enhance its beauty. Jewelry designs holding a large center stone with small diamonds surrounding do not disappoint. It is suitable for daily wear as its hardness composition protects the gemstone from being scratched. White Gold is the ideal metal for creating wonderful aquamarine jewelry since it complements the bluish green colored gemstone.
Aquamarine Treatment and Enhancement
In the gem trade, most gems undergo some form of treatment. In fact, documented evidence shows treatments first started with Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD). Sapphire clarity and color can improve drastically with heat treatment. Due to the permanent effects of treatment, these gemstones will only alter in appearance, not in overall stone quality.
The procedure is to heat sapphires in very high air temperatures for several hours, or by heating in a nitrogen-deficient environment (I.e. Oven) for several days. Upon heating, the stone becomes a richer blue in color. When high heat temperatures are used, the stone loses all of the internal silk, becoming clear even under magnification.
There are other controversial treatments that some gem companies in the industry undergo, but at Angara we have a strict policy against these methods, but also make sure our customers know exactly what they are buying. All treatments at Angara are on a permanent nature, never losing its color, clarity, quality or value.
Aquamarine stones need to be cleaned often to keep their brilliant sparkle and natural beauty. A thorough, soft brush scrubbing with a commercial jewelry cleaner or liquid detergent and water is appropriate to care for your aquamarine jewelry.
The primary source for aquamarines is Madagascar. It produces gemstones in dark blue to light blue shades. However, in recent times, Brazil also offers large quantity, high quality stones and has become an abundant supplier of aquamarine gemstones. 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 aquamarine color. Similarly, "Santa Maria Africana" aquamarines are produced in Mozambique, Africa. Other smaller sources are Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, USA 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 chests of mermaids and since has been associated with the ocean. Greek sailors wore aquamarines as amulets to please the Sea God, Neptune (or Poseidon). This gemstone was considered highly 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 Apostle, St. Thomas. Classifying a certain jewel with one of the twelve apostles was a common practice at this point in time.
It is believed that an aquamarine rekindles love in a marriage. Aquamarine is also deemed to bring joy and wealth.
Aquamarines 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 gemstone was greenish on the outside, blue on the inside and very transparent. 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 anniversary milestones.