The name Aquamarine is derived by Latin terms “aqua” which means water, and “mare” which means sea. The name is a reflection of how much the gem resembles seawater. And just as the colors of seas vary, aquamarines are also found in shades varying from blue to blue green. In the US, the blue colored aquamarine is more popular. In Europe, the greener variety is more sought after. The better known gem from this family of minerals is emerald. Aquamarine is simply a different color variety of the mineral beryl.
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. That is why; aquamarines are renowned for their clarity. Cutters are able to achieve imaginative cuts and shapes in aquamarine. It looks splendid in every new cut. In fact, modern cuts have made aquamarine so popular.
Aquamarine is the birthstone for the month of March, but is often enough picked by other people as well, for its appeal. Among loose aquamarines, cushion aquamarines and emerald cut aquamarines are the most popular; though heart aquamarines and marquise aquamarines also do well.
African Aquamarine makes fabulous jewelry. It can be paired with other gemstones like diamonds. A big large aquamarine in the center with small diamonds around it look fantastic .Aquamarine is suitable for daily wear as the hardness protects it from being scratched.
Most aquamarines are 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. Heating removes the yellow color components of an aquamarine and leaves a pure blue, which is so cherished.
The prime source of aquamarines 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. These African aquamarines are coveted the world over.
Aquamarine jewelry is a popular gift for 16th and 19th wedding anniversaries!
AQUAMARINES IN HISTORY
- Aquamarines were known as the sailor’s stones, since they were believed to be the chosen gems of sea god, Neptune.
- Identifying a certain jewel with one of the twelve apostles was a common practice in the medieval period. The aquamarine was identified with the Apostle, St. Thomas.
- The healing properties of Aquamarine are said to be effective for health problems relating to throat, anxiety, and stress-related illnesses.
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