The gem of the sea, Aquamarine derives its name from “sea water.” The reference is obvious: aqua sparkles like the sea in a color that most often ranges from pale to medium blue, often with a slight hint of green. Legends say that it is the treasure of mermaids, and the gem of Neptune, with the power to keep sailors safe. The serene color of aquamarine is said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded. Its fabled power to soothe differences and ensure a long and happy marriage makes it a wonderful anniversary gift. Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and is the symbol of youth, hope, health and fidelity.
Aquamarines are found almost exclusively in special gem deposits known as pegmatites. Pegmatites form when large pockets of molten rock solidify slowly beneath the surface of the earth and crystallize in the presence of specific elements. The final portion to crystallize encourages the growth of large crystals in an environment rich in the elements that form gems. In very rare cases, aquamarine crystals of 1,000 carats or more have been discovered.
Aquamarines are mined in a number of exotic places including Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan and Mozambique, but most of the gemstones available today come from Brazil. As a member of the beryl family of gems, aquamarine is related to emerald and morganite. A perfect gem to be set in jewelry, aquamarine is quite durable and has an outstanding luster when polished.
Rex and I just returned from attending the largest gem and jewelry show in the world. We discovered many exciting gem treasures and met with inspired designers. Over the next several weeks we will be gradually introducing new jewelry creations and featuring new work by talented jewelry artists. Stop by often and see what’s new!