Aquamarine, the birthstone of March, is named for its clarity and similarity to the clearest sea water. Unlike many gemstones, they can retain their depth of colour and clarity even when the stone is quite large; hence a number of famous deeply-coloured aquamarines around the world are housed in museums and are of considerable size – some in excess of 1000 carats.
While that may not mean a great deal in itself, consider that the striking cocktail aquamarine ring formerly belonging to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is believed to be around 30 carats in size. One thousand carat stones are definitely not the kind of stones you would want to wear!
All shades of blue
Just like the sea water for which it is named, gemstone quality Aquamarine blue varies in tone and shade. It can range from the lightest, clearest blue – similar to the Aquamarine Parure that was owned by her late majesty, Queen Elizabeth II – to the deeper, richer blue of the most recent major find; the Dom Pedro. Weighing in at 225,000 carats, the Dom Pedro is now housed in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
Credit: Image courtesy of the Smithsonian
The Dom Pedro Aquamarine
This amazing obelisk of a stone was found in the rough in Brazil in the 1980s and sent to Bernd Munsteiner in Idar-Oberstein in Germany to cut. Musteiner is considered one of the greatest gem cutters to have ever lived, and his carving and polishing techniques resulted in a stone that looks lit from within.
Accessible to all
Whilst most of us can only dream of owning stones of the quality and clarity of the rich and famous, the aquamarines most prevalent in the semi-precious jewellery world tend to be more opaque. They are often of a lighter blue-green colour and are frequently cut as cabochons rather than facetted. Nevertheless, they make fabulous jewellery items, and as they are less known than the famous four, are an ideal choice for those who enjoy more unusual stones.
This lovely aquamarine piece is accented with amethyst and peridot and fashioned in a flattering arrow-head shape to draw the eye. In addition to aquamarine being the birthstone for March, many people associate gemstones with particular spiritual properties; in the case of aquamarine these are often the power for happiness and protection.
With March now here, why not check out our range of Aquamarine jewellery in store at Silver 54, Ware or visit our web site at www.silver54.co.uk