Aquamarine close and personal – introduction by our authors

I Meet the gemstone

This is the “stone of the sea”, there is little doubt. Its name comes from Latin and means literally: “sea water”. Colour varieties are  from sea-green to sea-blue. During history it was always associated with the sea, sea-gods and their benevolence, sailors worshipped that stone and prayed to it for a safe return. and from ancient times artists used a colour called by its name to paint beautiful sea and ocean paintings. Movie by the same name (one we will not recommend watching) is about a mermaid found on the seashore, and every poem involving its name sings about beauty, mystery or might of the sea. When we think about it, we think: “sea”.


II Through time and space

 

History of this crystal and gemstone is a history of its mystical charm use. It is hard to separate it from myths and legends. In Europe, it was used as a charm and jewel during the 4th century BC.
There are also documented use of this gemstone for jewellery production in the 1st century BC in India, in the famous region Tamil Nadu. It has been established that those gemstone were unearthed at that region, and it is presumed that most of the stones used in Ancient Europe came from mines located in this region, and the ancient city of Karur. India remains until now on of the largest and most significant exporters of gemstones that can be used as a jewelry gem.
Deposits of this mineral were known from 1723 in Adun-Chalon, in eastern Siberia, and reached record output in 1796 when 79 kg of pure mineral gem quality was excavated. At the beginning of 19th century, large deposits of this mineral were discovered in Brazil, and since then a majority of world’s gems are coming from there.


III Scientific review

It is a variety of Beryl – its formula is Al2Be3Si6O18 (this has no significance for you unless you are a chemist, and then we suppose you already knew that, and you don’t need this blog to tell you this, but nevertheless it is a scientific truth). Being a variety of Beryl means this mineral has several gemstone brothers and sisters: forest green conceited Emerald, in love pink Morganite, yellow envious Heliodor, underachiever green Beryl not able to make it to Emerald, rare red Beryl, so rare it was never found enough to have any commercial use, pale and shy colourless Goshenite and vamp dark blue beautiful Maxixe, who’s colour unfortunately fades in daylight.
Unlike most of his brothers and sisters, Aquamarine is stable and hard, 7.5 to 8 on Moh’s scale, which means it is little softer than steel, little harder than iron. Contrasting to its green brother, the Emerald, it is often perfect (no inclusions inside the structure). Some huge pieces have been incised with no visible flaws, reaching the weight of several hundred carats. That is why value per carat of this stone doesn’t go up with its weight, which is unusual (the value per carat is usually higher if the gemstone is heavier, because it is harder to find and harder to cut).


IV Gem value

The previous sentence seems like a good opening for this subject. Today market price of fine gemstones (this doesn’t include low quality often found on the market and ornamented to very low quality and value jewellery) depending on colour saturation, quality of work and clarity averages around 100$ but can reach even 1000$ per carat for certain quality specimens.
First thing to remember is that if the colour is darker, the value is higher. But this goes only for natural gemstones because pale, lower quality stones are often heated to obtain more vivid colours. It is almost impossible to know if it was heat treated, so it is presumed all were. That is why we have offered one specimen completely raw, so natural colour and energy can be preserved.
This gemstone was part of the set (earrings and necklace) that ornamented a gift given to Queen Elisabeth in 1953 by the Brazilian president, in the name of people of Brazil. She liked it so much that matching tiara was made later to complete the set. Beautiful colours and pristine structure is the reason why it is not rare that this stone ornaments most valuable jewellery.
But in spite of the usual clarity, strange inclusions sometimes can add astonishing splendour and worth to these gems. Inclusions that can become visible on a vigilantly cut gem can give the effect known as “cat’s eye” and “star aquamarine”. The second is very uncommon, and therefore tremendously expensive.


V Interesting facts

‘Estrela de Alva’ was the largest specimen dug up at a site in Marta Rocha. Papamel aquamarine, was the heaviest released from mountain Gerais (Minas Gerais) and the Batadal mine, a record weight of 110 kg (242.5 pounds).

Pale blue Brazilian “sea water” stone is called ‘Espirito Santo
’. translating  ‘the Holy Spirit, also the name of a state in Bra
zil where it is often found.


VI As a healing crystal

Many different beliefs are associated to it: protector during sailing, sleep calming, peacemaking, fortune telling… This use continued through the Middle Ages, and after, to nowadays.

All esotery sources agree that this stone is a birthstone charm of those born in March, and under zodiac signs of Gemini, Pisces and Aries. There are many beliefs about good use of this healing crystal – balancing energy, helping meditation, harmonising glands in body, enhancing resolve for action in life, releasing of memory burden, promoting brotherhood amongst people, guiding to perfection, being the symbol of courage. This rough specimen from Ruby Charm collection is left in raw state to uphold its natural energy.


VII Unique in myth

Many beautiful myths are associated to this “sea water stone”. It has been believed that it was part of mermaid treasure, part of lost fortune of Atlantis, That is why Greek sailors wore it as talisman and Romans continued to use it for the same purpose, as it was believed mermaid will keep them from harm. It is said that one of these stones was worn by Jason while in pursuit for the Golden Fleece, and also by Theseus in his mission to the lands of the Amazons she-warriors to help him navigate the deceitful waves of the Black Sea that has been the doom for so many ships. (Follow link to see this painting in full.)

Here is on of our unusual jewellery pieces:

 

To see this article in our website journal, please follow this link.

 

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