February 27, 2019Aquamarines
A Guide to Aquamarine
Adored for their beautiful blue colour, aquamarine rings can be worn as tokens of good luck and fearlessness. For centuries, aquamarine gemstones have been mystically connected to the intense power and natural beauty of the ocean. The name ‘aquamarine’ is derived from the Latin for ‘water of the sea’, which is explained by its wispy sky-blue to deep ocean teal colour palette.
What Makes Aquamarine Gemstones Special?Aquamarine is in the beryl family of gemstones, just like beautiful green emeralds. While emeralds are green because of the presence of chromium and vanadium, aquamarines have their characteristic blue hue because of iron impurities in its mineral structure. The amount of iron can shift an aquamarine’s colour from an almost translucent blue-green to vibrant blue, making it a wonderfully characterful and changeable gemstone.
A dramatic aquamarine ring with baguette diamond shoulders.It also displays the unique property of pleochroism, meaning it reveals different shades of blue when viewed from different directions. Plus, unlike its cousin emerald, aquamarine is a much harder gemstone making it perfect for engagement rings and eternity bands.
See more: Explore all Aquamarine Engagement Rings
The Mythology of AquamarineSince antiquity, aquamarine has been worn as a talisman to calm the mind, soothe the soul and inspire truth, trust and acceptance. In Ancient Greek and Roman times, aquamarine gemstones were believed to be the ultimate treasure of mermaids which were bestowed upon wayward sailors to protect them from violent waves and shipwrecks. In more recent centuries, aquamarines have been worn to enhance the intuition, foster psychic abilities, offer relief from insomnia and even cure a case of the hiccups.
Read more: Aquamarine Blue Ring in Cornwall
An Art Deco-inspired aquamarine and diamond ring with stepped baguette diamond shoulders (left) and a three stone aquamarine and diamond engagement ring.Aquamarine rings, such as aquamarine engagement rings and wedding rings, are said to foretell a successful marriage. The belief that an aquamarine can support love and passion can be traced back to medieval times, and perhaps helps to explain why aquamarine eternity rings are popular today.
Recent History of Aquamarine JewelleryDuring the 19th century reign of Queen Victoria, aquamarines were most highly-prized in ocean-green shades. All this changed at the dawn of the Edwardian era, however, when vibrant deep blue was chosen to match elaborate diamond garlands and bows. Art Nouveau aquamarine jewellery rebelled against the formality of Victorian jewellery and introduced fluid lines and floral motifs most commonly associated with jewellery artist, Rene Lalique. As Art Deco jewellery took hold in the 1920s and 1930s, aquamarines were deemed a traditional choice for timeless cluster-style engagement rings, grand parures and royal tiaras.
Where is Aquamarine Found Across the World?The most valuable and desirable aquamarines in the world come from Brazil, although beautiful examples are mined in Kenya, Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Russia and Afghanistan.
Are There Any Famously Large Aquamarines?The Dom Pedro aquamarine is the world’s largest cut aquamarine, weighing an incredible 10,363 carats. It was discovered as a 45kg crystal in Pedra Azul, within the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil around 1980. Today it stands tall in obelisk form at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Some of the rarest and most spectacular aquamarine jewellery is owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. For her coronation in 1953, The Queen received an aquamarine necklace and earring set from the Brazilian government, which was followed by a matching bracelet and brooch in 1958. The Queen loved her pieces so much that she decided to add an aquamarine tiara to the collection in the late 1950s, making hers one of the most exceptional aquamarine collections in the world.
An Art Deco-inspired aquamarine and diamond cluster ring in platinum and yellow gold.