For people born in March, Aquamarine is their birthstone. But, besides the birthstone’s fresh watery hue, aquamarine has much to offer.
In this article, we discuss all there is to know about aquamarine.
What is Aquamarine?
Discovered in 1677, aquamarine derives its name from the combination of water and marine Latin words, given its light green and blue appearance. Formed in the hexagonal system, it is commonly found in cavities, granite pegmatite, alluvial deposits of gravel, and sometimes streams gravels in Brazil, Soviet Union, Madagascar, United States, Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. In 1910, the largest aquamarine stone weighing 243 pounds was found in Brazil and, when cut, yielded 200,000 carats.
Aquamarine belongs to beryl mineral family. While pure beryl is colorless, aquamarine contains trace amounts of iron that make its color from pale blue, light blue-green, or even light green. The higher the content of iron, the deeper the color. These colors, such as rich sky blue, are further enhanced by heating the stone.
Aquamarine Interesting Facts
Aquamarine is a valued gem of our ancestors, and there are many myths and legends associated with this blue-green gemstone.
- Aquamarine was a gift the groom gave his bride the morning after the marriage ceremony. It is believed to absorb the atmosphere of love and reawaken the love of married couples.
- Greeks and Romans regarded aquamarine as a sailor’s gem, ensuring safe cruising even on stormy seas.
- In 1377, William Langland mentioned in his book “The Vision Concerning Piers and the Plowman” that the property of aquamarine was an antidote for poison, making it in demand among royalty.
- Middle Ages writers claim aquamarine as an effective oracle crystal for fortune-telling and divining tools.
- In many folklores, aquamarine is regarded as the amulet for wars. It is used in ceremonies to bring rain or drought upon their enemies and cure ailments like jaws, throat, stomach, liver, and toothaches.
Healing Properties of Aquamarine
Aquamarine is believed to have healing properties such as the following:
- Promotes calmness
- Keeps emotional clarity
- Help open your mind and enhances your understanding
- Fights anxiety
- Builds resiliency and strength
Aquamarine Value and Pricing
Aquamarine is abundant and almost available anywhere, making it inexpensive. The price and value of this gemstone depend on its cut, clarity, weight, and color.
So, what makes the Aquamarine fine?
With a hardness rate of 7.5 to 8, aquamarine is commonly cut as emerald type, round, oval, or pear-shaped cuts. However, modern cutters experimented with various forms, such as ornamental forms. The cuts should have been so that the deepest blue color appears.
Aquamarine is a GIA Type 1 classified gemstone. Most have clean materials with excellent clarity grades as “loupe clean” or “almost loupe clean.” So, any of its inclusions are not visible to the naked eye.
Aquamarine is a popular colored gemstone that can come in large sizes at affordable prices.
Under 5 carats, aquamarine with good quality may range from $100 to $250 per carat, but it is unusual.
Most often, the size of the stone needs to be larger to have a deeper color caused by a longer light path. Larger aquamarines may have around $300 to $600 per carat. But larger sizes, however, are lower in demand due to their problem when set in a piece of jewelry.
The rich blue stones are the most valuable among the different hues of aquamarine; from blue to green, the rich blue stones are the most valuable. Aquamarines commonly lean towards the green tint, but these are often heated to reduce the yellow. Added to these, the clean unheated blue stones with good color saturation are rare and highly valued.
The finest color in “Santa Maria” deep blue hues in Brazil is so rare that it can fetch a price up to $1000 per carat. Hence, the stronger and the purer the blue tint in the stones, the more valued it is.
How can you tell a genuine aquamarine?
In its natural form, aquamarine has a pale color, just like seawater, with a greenish hue caused by iron impurities. When treated with heat, the precious stone looks bluer. But judging by its color, it should have excellent clarity and transparency. The real aquamarine stone should be hard and not get scratched easily. But, they can easily scratch other surfaces like glasses.
Aquamarine’s common replacement is colored glass. To identify the genuine aquamarine, the gemstone must be cool to the touch, unlike glasses that are warm to the touch. Also, aquamarine has different colors when viewed from different angles. On the other hand, glasses have the same color no matter what angle they are viewed from.
Caring for aquamarine jewelry
If you have aquamarine in your jewelry collection, the proper way to clean these is by using soapy water, mild liquid soap, and a toothbrush. Avoid using hot water or those from the ultrasonic tank, enzyme cleaners, and strong detergents to avoid thermal shock making the stone dull.
When storing this beautiful piece, think about how it can scratch other stones. Therefore, it should not be kept with other fine jewelry where they can rub against each other. Instead, store it in a fabric-lined box individually.
It is also essential to keep them away from heat, as it can alter the gemstone’s color. Treated aquamarines are stable, but prolonged exposure to high heat and direct sunlight may cause their color to become dull.
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