It’s the month of March and I’m here to talk about one of my favorite, colored stones: Aquamarines!
These stones are commonly confused with Topaz because of the commonly associated blue color. The thing is, Aquamarine is a Beryl; the same species as that of an Emerald. Topaz come in an array of colors and will still be called a Topaz regardless of color. With Beryl, the moment the color changes, we would have to specify its variety. A Beryl which becomes pink in color will be called Morganite Beryl. If it becomes a specific hue of green, it will be called an Emerald Beryl. And when it becomes blue, then it’s an Aquamarine Beryl.
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The most valuable color for Aquamarine is moderately strong, medium-dark blue to slightly greenish blue. Traces of iron in the beryl’s crystal structure gives the blue color for Aquamarines. The crystals tend to grow in large sizes, so carvings of Aquamarine Beryl are available in the market. Historically, carat sizes that go beyond 25 carats are not generally favored in the market and go down in value on a per carat basis so I guess in this case, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better! It is also not unusual to find unusually faceted Aquamarines to further enhance the color. Heat treatment is also done on crystals to eliminate the yellow components to leave a purer blue hue.
Brazil is an important source of gem-quality Aquamarines. Queen Elizabeth II’s Aquamarine tiara were mined from Brazil. Pakistan is another significant producer of Aquamarines. China recently became a leading producer of small, commercial-quality Aquamarine which tend to be very pale in color.
Another popular Aquamarine jewelry is the cocktail ring of Princess Diana currently in possession of the Duchess of Sussex. The stone was a gift from the late princess’ friend, Lucia Flecha de Lima and set into a ring by British luxury brand Asprey in 1996.
And there you have it! Do you think you’d like to add aquamarines in your set of jewelry? Comment below!
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