Like no other, the bright blue of this noble beryl is named ‘Santa Maria’, for her rare and intensely deep blue hue, from the Itabira mine in Brazil.
FCI Aquamarine Rings
Lesser qualities include various color nuances of aquamarine, namely ‘Santa Maria Africana’ to distinguish the African variety, ‘Espirito Santo’ also from Brazil but a blue that is not quite so intense and ‘Martha Rocha’ named after the 1954 Brazilian beauty queen. Aquamarines are also found in Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Afghanistan and Pakistan but they don’t attract collectors as much as the more rare and more highly prized ‘Santa Maria’ aquamarines.
Although Brazil’s principal aquamarine region begins about 75 miles north of Rio de Janeiro and includes the areas of Araua, Conselheiro Pena, Governador Valadares, Jequitinhonha River basin, Pedra Azul, Salinas, and Teofilo Otoni, the town of Teofilo Otoni in Minas Gerais is a major Brazilian gem-trading center particularly known for its aquamarine, as are both Fortaleza and Marambaia.
Principal aquamarine mines in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais are the Batadal Mine, Papamel Mine, Santa Maria de Itabira producing aquamarines used extensively in fine jewelry.