Poetically described as ‘exhibiting the color of seawater parted by the bow of a sailing ship’, and symbolizing ‘eternal youth and happiness’ since ancient times, aquamarine is a variety of beryl family of minerals, of which emerald is also a member.
High quality aquamarine is almost entirely free of inclusions, and exhibits wonderful shine. Iron is the substance, which gives aquamarine its enchanting color, a color that ranges from an almost indiscernible pale blue to a strong sea-blue. Some aquamarines have a light, greenish shimmer which is also a typical feature of this translucent azure gemstone, but it is the pure, clear blue that continues to epitomize the aquamarine, because it brings out so well the immaculate transparency and magnificent shine of this coveted gemstone.
The various color nuances of aquamarine have been given melodious names: The rare, intense blue aquamarines from the Santa Maria de Itabira mine in Brazil, for example, are called ‘Santa Maria’. Similar nuances come from a few gemstone mines in Africa, particularly Mozambique. To help distinguish them from the Brazilian ones, these aquamarines have been given the name ‘Santa Maria Africana’.
According to legend, aquamarine originated in the treasure chest of fabulous mermaids, and was regarded as the sailors’ lucky stone in ancient times. Ancient sailors traveled with aquamarine crystals, believing that it would ensure a safe voyage, and guarantee a safe return; they often slept with the stones under their pillow to ensure sound sleep.
The name of aquamarine is derived from the Latin words ‘aqua’ (water) and ‘mare’ (sea). It is believed that its strengths are developed more positively when it is placed in water and bathed in sunlight. However, according to the old traditions, wearing aquamarine per se promises a happy marriage and bestows joy and wealth upon its wearer.
The tender blue color of aquamarine arouses feelings of sympathy, trust, harmony, and friendship, feelings that prove their worth in lasting relationships. The blue of aquamarine is considered a divine, eternal color, because it is the color of the sky and the color of water with its life-giving force.
There is hardly any other gemstone in modern jewelry design which is refined in such a variety of ways as aquamarine. Whether fashioned as a clear, transparent gem in the classical step cut, or creatively cut in a more modern design, it is always alluringly beautiful and can produce the most fascinating creations. For decades, it has been amongst the most favorite gemstones of designers, who have often taken the world by surprise with a new, artistic cut, to be applied in their ‘avant-garde’ jewelry pieces, hence contributing to the widespread popularity of aquamarine. The lucid color of aquamarine enables the designers to bring out the brilliance of aquamarine with fine grooves, curves and edges. By doing so, each aquamarine becomes a unique specimen, whose magical attraction can hardly be resisted.