The stunning blue gleam of aquamarine has ensured its continued place as one of the most captivating, sought after gemstones for jewellery adornment.
While jewellery displaying quality gems was once only within reach of the privileged and rich, these days, outstanding creations are easily available for everyone, regardless of their budget – thanks to affordable, reputable online retailers such as The Jewellery Channel.
The following guide will explore some interesting facts about aquamarine.
Introduction to Aquamarine
Aquamarine has a beautiful lustre and it is almost as popular as the precious gemstones ruby, sapphire and emerald. It is in fact related to the emerald, since both belong to the beryl family of minerals. The term aquamarine comes from Latin vocabulary, meaning ‘water’ and ‘from the sea’.
This entrancing gem displays a stunning range of colours ranging from a delicate light blue to a rich blue and blue-green, with the deep saturated blue being the most valuable variety.
The deeper blue hue occurs when the stone is heated to 750 degrees, and when observed under a microscope, it often shows shades of green.
Aquamarine forms into gorgeous, transparent crystals which are usually flawless, unlike the emerald which is generally flawed with inclusions (inherent fine cracks).
Main Source of Aquamarine
The main producer of aquamarine is Brazil, which has many mines across the country. Other prime sources are Australia, Myanmar (Burma), India, China, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the US.
The largest aquamarine gem was discovered in 1910 in the ‘Minas Gerais’ in Brazil – it weighed 110.5 Kg and was cut into numerous smaller gems with a total weight of more than 100,000 carats.
Aquamarine Buyers Tips
- Most aquamarines are of a lighter hue, although the more deeply saturated the colour the more valuable the stone.
- Aquamarine can often be mistaken for blue topaz but in fact it originated from different crystal structures and is more valuable than blue topaz.
- Quality aquamarine gems should be clear and transparent. Some specimens contain long, hollow inclusions, a frequent occurrence in gems belonging to the beryl family.
- Aquamarine has a rating of 7 to 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, meaning it is a highly durable stone and is perfect for rings and bracelets which tend to suffer the brunt of daily wear and tear.
- Traces of foreign minerals can cause a cat’s eye effect in certain specimens – this is known as asterism, producing six rays that give the stone a scintillating sheen. It is however are extremely rare to find such stones.
- Star and cat’s eye aquamarines command the highest price.
- The most popular cut for aquamarine used in jewellery is the emerald or step cut, or the brilliant cut featuring a rectangular shape. Generally but not always, turbid (cloudy) specimens are cut in the cabochon shape.
- Most good quality aquamarines gems have been heat treated to produce the clear and vivid blue to blue-green shades that are extremely popular.
- Duller or greenish colored varieties are heated to a high temperature to form a beautiful sky blue color although temperatures higher than 850 degrees Fahrenheit will result in the discoloration of the stone.
Zodiac & Health Benefits
According to lore, aquamarine was said to originate from the treasure chests of the mermaids and since ancient times these gems have been regarded as the sailors’ good luck stone.
From antiquity to the Middles Ages, aquamarine was thought to reflect the cosmos and was assigned to the planet Neptune. Aquamarine is also the birthstone for the Zodiac sign of Scorpio and for those born in March.
The curative powers of aquamarine were strongly authenticated by healers, medicine men and shamans. These gems are thought to helpful in the relieving arthritis, sore throats, eye inflammations and varicose veins. Aquamarine is also considered to be effective for reducing the effect of poisons as well as increasing intelligence, youthfulness courage and happiness. Some societies even believe aquamarine helps in a happy marriage and ensures the woman who wears it will have joy and wealth.
The gorgeous blue of aquamarine is a divine, eternal color associated with the immensity of the sky, as well as the life-giving force of the ocean. Thanks to online retailers such as The Jewellery Channel, everyone can now own these exquisite gems regardless of their budget.
Author Bio: Julia Littlewood is a Jewellery Designer. She is passionate about ornaments, gems and stones. If you want to explore the most vibrant and widest range of jewellery pieces , she suggests you to visit The Jewellery Channel. Julia loves joining parties, fashion shows, exhibitions apart from designing costume jewelleries and writing articles for her followers.
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