Because of the outstanding blue colour of aquamarines, they have enjoyed an enduringly strong appeal. These stunning gemstones never fail to stand out from the crowd, making them a must have for use in jewellery.
The following guide will explore some interesting facts about these magnificent gems, as well as outline some top buyers tips when it comes to shopping for aquamarine rings.
Introduction to Aquamarine
Named after the Latin terms for ‘water’ and ‘from the sea’, aquamarine is a blue or turquoise variety of the beryl mineral family. The splendid lustre and hue of aquamarine means it rivals even the prized precious gems such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires.
Aquamarine gems span a range of entrancing colours in the blue spectrum, from a delicate light blue to a rich blue and blue-green. The deeply saturated blue variety however is the most valuable – this hue occurs when the stone is heated to 750 degrees, and when observed under a microscope it will often also display subtle shades of green.
The inner structure of aquamarine is also fascinating – it forms into beautiful transparent crystals which are usually flawless, contrary to the beryl variety emerald which contains many inherent inclusions (natural tiny cracks).
Main Source of Aquamarine
There are numerous mines producing gem quality aquamarine in Brazil, making it the primary source of these jewels. They are to be found in many locations worldwide however, including Australia, Burma, China, India, Kenya, Myanmar, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the US.
Clear yellow beryl found in Brazil is sometimes called aquamarine chrysolite, while the deep blue variety is also called Maxixe – it is commonly found in Madagascar.
Buyers Tips for Aquamarine Rings
- Gem quality aquamarine has a clear, transparent quality. Some specimens contain hollow elongated inclusions, which is a typical occurrence in gems that belong to the beryl family.
- Though extremely rare, certain mineral traces can cause some varieties of aquamarine to display a cat’s eye effect known as asterism – it features the appearance of six rays that give the stone a fascinating sheen.
- Aquamarine has a rating of 7 to 8 (out of 10) on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, meaning it is a highly durable stone. This makes it ideal for use in rings and bracelets as these jewellery items tend bear the brunt of daily wear and tear.
- Most aquamarines have a lighter colour, however the more deeply saturated the hue, the more valuable the gem. Star and cat’s eye aquamarines command the highest price tags.
- The dark variety of aquamarine known as Maxixe tends to fade to white when exposed to heat treatment or too much sunlight, although the colour can be brought back through irradiation.
- Aquamarine is often be mistaken for blue topaz, but the two gems have different crystal structures and aquamarine is more valuable than blue topaz.
- The most popular cuts for aquamarine in jewellery are the emerald or step cut and the brilliant cut (rectangular in shape). Frequently, specimens that are cloudy rather than transparent are cut into a cabochon (dome) shape to enhance their lustre.
- Most gem quality aquamarines have been heat treated to produce the clear and vivid blue to blue-green stones that are most popular.
- When shopping for a ring, it’s important to understand that ring size is not the same as finger size, because factors such as temperature, humidity, water retention and exercise all affect how the ring fits. If unsure, visit a jeweller who can fit you to perfection using a professional steel-gauge (it appears similar to a set of keys with numerous sizes to try on).
Zodiac & Health Benefits
Aquamarine is assigned to the planet Neptune and is also the birthstone for the Zodiac sign of Scorpio as well as for those born in March.
In ancient times, these outstanding gems were regarded as the ‘sailors’ good luck stone’ and were also thought to reflect divinity. Healers, medicine men and shamans strongly believed that aquamarines have powerful curative benefits, such as reducing the effect of poisons as well as helping with arthritis, sore throats, eye inflammations and varicose veins.
Aquamarine is further thought to boost courage, happiness, intelligence and youthfulness. Some cultures also believe aquamarine ensures the woman who wears it will have joy, wealth and a successful marriage.
Aquamarine is one of the most instantly captivating gemstones to be found on earth – its dazzling blue hue has eternal appeal. Because this magnificent gem is also relatively robust, aquamarine rings are an excellent choice since they will withstand accidental knocks nicely.