An aquamarine’s color can range from blue-green to slightly greenish-blue, while the most expensive gems display a bright, pure blue. The blue coloring comes from iron impurities in the colorless beryl crystal.
Origins: Aquamarine is largely mined in Brazil, but also in Nigeria, Zambia, China, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States.
History: This gemstone is a member of the beryl family and was thought to resemble the clear, blue water of the Mediterranean by both the Greeks and Romans. During the 1800s the sea green varieties of the gemstone were popular. In recent times, blue is predominantly sought after.
- These gemstones were symbols of youth and everlasting happiness to the Romans.
- The largest gem quality aquamarine was found in Brazil in 1910 and weighed 243 lbs. It was cut into smaller stones, yielding more than 200,000 stones.
- This gemstone was believed to protect sailors and guaranteed a safe voyage. It was also believed the stones originated from the treasure chest of mermaids.
- In Germany, 1992, a gemstone designer created the 57-pound “Dom Pedro” aquamarine, which is the largest aquamarine ever to be cut. It now resides in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.
- The serene color of aquamarine is said to cool the temper and allows the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded. As a healing stone, aquamarine is believed to be effective as a treatment for anxiety. In the Middle Ages, it was thought to reduce the effects of a poison.
Mohs Hardness: 7.5 – 8
Care: Warm soapy water is always a safe cleaning method. Cleaning by ultrasonic and steam cleaners is usually safe unless the stone has liquid inclusions or fractures.