Aquamarine

aquamarineAquamarine is the gemstone for March. Like emeralds, it is a member of the beryl species. The aquamarine’s cool blue hues are reflected in its name, which comes from the Latin word for “sea water”.

Aquamarines have traditionally been popular in times of war. In ancient times, it was believed to provide courage and insight to those who wore them. In the Middle Ages, it was believed to guarantee a happy marriage and inspire mutual fidelity.

Aquamarine crystals can grow to huge sizes, and are usually blessed with excellent clarity. Its colors can range from greenish blue to blue-green in light tones. Usually, the color is more intense in larger stones. Brazil supplies the most aquamarine to the market today.

Aquamarine - The Softer Side of Blue

The Greeks proclaimed this highly prized, light blue gem aquamarine, because it sparkles like the sea touched by the sun. found in an array of pastel tones from very light to medium blue, aquamarine is often tinted by a splash of green. The delicate greenish blue of a fine aquamarine conjures up images of dancing light on the purest of tropical waters.

Aquamarine holds its place securely among the world’s most desirable gems. Ranging in tone from a very light to medium blue, many aquamarines will exhibit a slight tint of green in their body color. Generally the darker shades are more valued, but many people prefer the lively brightness of lighter hues. Aquamarine is readily available in larger sizes over 5 carats. In fact, gem quality aquamarine crystals weighing several hundred pounds have been discovered.

Origins

Today’s most important source for aquamarine is Brazil. Other sources include Zambia, Nigeria, Madagascar and the United States.

Treatments

Virtually all aquamarine is heated to minimize the greenish component of its color, making it appear a purer blue. Heat treated aquamarines are generally stable, but their color may fade if exposed to prolonged periods of high heat or direct sunlight.

Care

Aquamarines should never be cleaned with a steam cleaner or an ultrasonic cleaning machine. Aquamarines can be cleaned with most any commercial jewelry cleaner or mild soap and lukewarm water using a soft brush. Be sure to rinse and dry your jewelry thoroughly after cleaning.

Content provided courtesy of GIA & AGS