Aquamarine is one of those staple gemstones you’ll find in virtually every jewelry store around the world, from huge chain stores to small independent jewelers. That’s not to suggest that it isn’t rare or valuable; quite the opposite, in fact. It’s just a very popular gemstone, and it has been for a very long time. And since it is the March birthstone, aqua is not going anywhere for a while.
The word “aquamarine” is a compound word from Latin meaning “sea water.” If you’ve ever spent any time on or around the ocean, you know the color palate being described: pastels from greyish green to crystalline blue to stormy grey-blue. And being a member of the beryl family, aquamarine has this shine about it that is reminiscent of sunlight scintillating off the breakers while one stands on the beach and watches them roll in.
Although it can rarely be said that aquamarine is of an intense color, aqua is just one of those gems that does pastel tones better than most. It has a crisp, clean look about it that pairs well with virtually every color in any season.
As far as jewelry goes, aqua wears great. It grows large enough to be the centerpiece of a statement necklace, but it’s durable enough to be worn in most rings and bracelets, even every day. You may see some abrasion and chipping of the facet junctions over the years, but then that’ll be the case with anything but a diamond.
In weighing the quality of a piece of aquamarine jewelry you may be considering, remember that the stronger the blue, the higher the value. Now, take that with a grain of salt, of course, because maybe the bluer aquas are not what appeal to you the most. Maybe you value a stone that leans more to the green. As with all jewelry, your taste is one of the greatest considerations.
Aquamarine is typically a very internally clean gemstone, so any eye-visible inclusions may have a negative impact on the price. On that note, you may come across cat’s eye aquamarine, which are translucent to opaque, but display a sharp cat’s eye effect that can be quite pleasing. These are a rare novelty, and the prices of stone’s with fine color and sharp cat’s eye can rival those of faceted aquamarine.
Aqua has two main colors that it displays naturally: yellow and blue, which when mixed make green. That is why most aquas come out of the ground green. It is commonly heat treated to reduce the yellow color axis, leaving the blue color axis to show out from the stone.
While there was a time that this practice was almost universal, trends and tastes have changed over time, and there is a real push to see natural, unheated aquamarine nowadays. The blue is still extremely popular, but jewelry set with greener aquas is gaining ground.
Whatever shades of aquamarine you may prefer, rest assured that you are promoting a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of many people across many cultures for many, many generations.
Does something with so much history behind it appeal to your sense of self and style? Or do you prefer something less traditional?