On Monday we shared a few of the reasons why we love aquamarine, March’s blue birthstone. And when we’re not admiring and acquiring huge aquamarine cocktail rings, we’re still struck by the beauty of this birthstone. It really is one of our favorites, up there with September’s sapphires, May’s emerald, and of course April’s diamond. This beautiful gem is more than just a member of the beryl family, more than just a naturally blue and gorgeous semiprecious gem. It’s more than our favorite shade of ocean-inspired beauty.
Much like diamonds (in fact, nearly exactly like diamonds), aquamarines are graded on their cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. When it comes to color, the best aquamarines are a strong, pale bright blue. Because of the way beryl, and aquamarine in particular form, spectacular clarity is practically a given. It’s not unusual or difficult to find huge aquamarines free of any inclusions, because of the way they grow. This carries over into their weight – there are of course “normal” aquamarines in the 1-3 carat range, but their ability to grow large and “eye clean” – that means free of obvious inclusions – gives jewelers more stone to work with when cutting. Whereas a rough diamond the same weight as a rough aquamarine will need to be cut to highlight the areas of stone without inclusions, it’s much easier to cut an aquamarine with beautiful clarity. There’s simply more un-included stone available. And that brings us to cut. Aquamarines still require a skilled jeweler because of its precious color. A precise cut is necessary to maximize the saturation of the stone, because most aquamarines are such light blue.
Aquamarines can be found in Brazil, Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Mozambique and Pakistan, among other countries. The stones themselves are believed to aid in personal relationships, clarity of thought, and meditation. There’s also superstition that the gems will keep you safe on open waters, likely because of their color. We say wear your aquamarines around water, not specifically in it. While they make beautiful everyday jewelry, our favorite aquamarines are those reserved for special occasion pieces!