March’s Birthstone: Aquamarine
By Maury Kauffman
3/15/2021 at 12:51 PM
Did you know, I sell the most gemstone jewelry of any jewelry store in Tucson? I am also one of the most respected and busy diamond engagement ring jewelers in town. I create and customize diamond and ruby, emerald and sapphire rings and bracelets in gold and platinum. My jewelry store has hundreds of designs to meet every taste, style and budget. To learn more, please schedule an appointment here. (https://www.mkpj.com/schedule-an-appointment/) Since I specialize in color gemstone jewelry I’m writing a year’s long blog on birthstones. This month is Aquamarine.
Legend has it that aquamarine originated in the treasure chests of mermaids. For centuries, aquamarine was the constant companion of mariners, who believed it was their protection against the wrath of the sea.
Did you know, aquamarine emerald’s sister? While both gemstones are of the beryl family, aquamarine possesses a delicate, light blue hue reminiscent of the ocean’s calm. Its very name, taken from Latin, translates to “seawater.”
The largest deposits of aquamarine are found in Brazil, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Madagascar. Russia and Sri Lanka also contribute a lesser production. More recently, stunning aquamarine crystals been found in Pakistan and Afghanistan, lending promise to the potential for future mining in the region.
The pure blue color of aquamarine is the most prized, and so, heat treatment is often applied to enhance aquamarine’s color. After applying gentle heat for several hours, a once-greenish gemstone will become the purer pastel blue more typical of aquamarine in today’s market. The result is permanent and widely accepted in the jewelry industry.
With an expressive color evocative of both sea and sky, aquamarine is considered a fashion staple. It is a rare gemstone in that it can effortlessly move from day to night, work to play, and casual to elegant.
Jewelry set with aquamarine, because of its pastel tones, tends to be light and bright. The darker and more saturated an aquamarine’s color is, the rarer and consequently the more valuable it is. In general though, aquamarine is a pastel gemstone and it lighter tones never reach the deeper tones of sapphire. Adding to its popularity is aquamarine’s beauty when set in either white or yellow metal. Yellow enhances the warmth of a greenish stone, while white metal highlights its cool blue hues.
Aquamarine quite frequently has a flawless or lightly included interior and is often cut with large step facets and an open table that show off the remarkable purity of its structure. In fact, because of its pastel character and superior transparency, aquamarine will sparkle with brilliance no matter how it is faceted.
Aquamarine is also available in large sizes and unconventional shapes, making it a perfect candidate for special order design and manufacture. And given the generous availability of rough aquamarine, there is truly no limit to a lapidary’s creativity.
Aquamarine is resilient enough for frequent wear but to look its best, aquamarine should be cleaned. For at-home cleaning, the safest method is using a solution of warm water and gentle dish detergent. Lightly scrub the gemstone with a soft brush and let dry on a soft cloth. As with other fine jewelry, remove aquamarine before bedtime.
Remember, when you're shopping Tucson jewelers for color gemstone jewelry or diamond engagement rings or bridal jewelry, please keep me in mind and view my two minute video. The Secret: Why Guys Buy Diamonds from MKPJ. And you can learn about my pricing and process.