Saturday, March 5, 2011

March Bling- Aquamarine

Via GemStoneStories

Today we are going to have a lesson in Latin. They don't teach Latin as much in school any more so this is our chance.

"Aqua"- water
"Mare"- sea

Aquamarine- "Water of the Sea"

Seriously, what other Latin do you really need to know? If you are a March baby in search of a birthstone or if your 18th wedding anniversary is approaching, you just march (ah ha!- no pun intended) right into the jewelry store and lay some Latin on 'em-


Via Apples of Gold

When I was in college, one of my friends had a gorgeous (and huge) aquamarine ring set with diamonds. It wasn't her birthstone but she was a tiny, petite little thing and it looked so pretty on her slender hands. I must confess to the sins of coveting and envy.

Via Diamonds By Mischelle

Aquamarines are a semi-precious stone in the Beryl family, which makes them related to Emeralds. Ah-- no wonder they're so gorgeous. Most gem beryl, including aquamarine, come from a very coarse-grained rock that geologists call pegmatite and it is not unusual for the crystals to be 25 feet or more in length in situ. There have been huge finds of aquamarine that weighed several tons but that did not qualify for cutting due to weak, gray or opaque color. The largest find of aquamarine in gemstone quality dates back to 1910. Mined in Marambaya, Brazil, the stone weighed 243 lb, was 18 inches long and 15.5 inches in diameter. It was cut into many gems of a total weight of more than 100,000 ct.

via Jewelrypedia

The Dom Pedro stone (above left) was  a 10,363 carat, 23 1/4 inches (59 cm) tall behemoth mined in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. It was cut by Bernd Munsteiner to create the sculpture "Waves of the Sea" (above right) in 1993. This single Aquamarine gemstone sculpture is 13 13/16 inches (35 cm) tall and is the largest uncut piece of aquamarine in the world. There is a gorgeous photograph of this sculpture, taken by Jeff Turner at the Houston Museum of Natural History, on Flickr. He has reserved all rights and I am therefore unable to share the photo with you in this post but if you click here you can see his stunning photo on Flickr.

The lovely blue color of aquamarine comes from trace amounts of iron. Aquamarine ranges in color from an almost colorless pale blue...

via GemPlayer blue-green or teal...

Stones that have a green tinge to them are generally heat treated to create a more desirable color. This color change is permanent.


The most prized color is a deep-blue aqua color. This incredible 157.51 carat gem (above) from Santa Maria Brazil is offered by Linton for $47,100US. Go ahead, I'll wait while you get your checkbook.


Aquamarines were thought by ancient Romans to be sacred to Neptune (Poseidon to the Greeks), god of the sea, having fallen from his jewellery chest and washed ashore. Sailors wore or carried aquamarine as protection against the dangers of sea travel, including seasickness (sometimes much more bothersome than the odd sea serpent).

via Gemstone-Pictures

Aquamarine was thought by the ancients to give the wearer foresight, courage, and happiness. It was thought to increase intelligence and make one youthful. As a healing stone, it is said to be effective as a treatment for anxiety and in the Middle Ages it was thought that aquamarine would reduce the effect of poisons.

Aquamarine's powers were believed to be increased when immersed in water and this water was used at times as a healing agent for the heart, liver, spleen, stomach, mouth, and throat. This beautiful blue stone was thought to awaken love in a weary marriage, though I think any decent piece of bling will do that.

via Belenky Brothers

When buying jewelry, Gehna Bazaar gives us this advice:
Today aquamarine gemstone is not as expensive as it used to be earlier. Although it is still one of the popular gemstones used in jewelry, its wide availability has resulted in a decline in prices. The main factor that affects the price of this gem is the color. Secondary factors that affect price are its carat size and clarity.

A fine quality natural aquamarine gemstone with good luster that weighs a carat would cost somewhere around $25. These gems are usually found in huge sizes so the basic rule of gemstones pricing, ‘the bigger the stone the more the per carat rate’ does not apply here. A good quality aquamarine gem which is 15 carats is likely to cost $ 35 or less per carat and the weight of the stone does not really matter much here.

via Christie's

Aquamarine is a fairly hard stone and easily carved, making it a favorite with jewellers as well as with sculptors working in gemstone. The carved Chinese snuff bottles pictured above from circa 1770-1840 set someone back $8,400US at a Christie's auction.

OK- let's just row across the aquamarine sea for a minute.

55 carat Tiffany pendant, via Randolph Jewlers

via The Jewelry Blog

Boucheron Orientals Ring via Sybarites

Aquamarine under the microscope, via Molecular Expressions

Beautiful 20.03 carat cabachon cut aquamarine with cat's eye effect.
Considered a rare effect in aquamarine. $200.00

And finally, our butterfly gemstone of the month.
Georgian Aquamarine Butterfly Brooch Pendant
via The Three Graces

This gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous brooch dates from about 1840. The butterfly appears to be flying upside down but they do that sometimes. Let's have another look before I tell you the price (mainly because of the price of gold these days).

Georgian Aquamarine Butterfly Brooch Pendant
via The Three Graces

$46,500 US

Happy Birthday March Babies!
May you swim in a sea of happiness!


  1. Somehow I missed this! And I awoke this morning thinking - I don't remember seeing the march birth Stone on you blog so I just popped over to search.

    I know these posts are taking an enormous amount of research and time to put together and I just want to tell you once again that I appreciate and thoroughly enjoy these posts very, very much.

    I happen to be a May baby (that other Beryl), but I have always been enchanted by the color of this stone. You have shared some stunning images here - but being more of a collector of natural specimens rather than jewelry, I loved the cluster of crystals the most although I have to admit lingering on the Tiffany pendant.

  2. Nice collection really Love it.