GemSelect Newsletter - Aquamarine: Stone of the Sea
The birthstone for March is aquamarine, the green-blue colored member of the beryl family that is associated with good health, harmony, love, youth and hope. After emerald, aquamarine is the most popular beryl gemstone and unlike emerald, aquamarine often has excellent clarity. One of several gemstones named after a color, aquamarine gets its name from the Latin for "seawater". Just as seawater itself varies in color, aquamarine can be blue or green and most often it is a combination of both hues. Traditionally, blue aquamarine was preferred, indeed, the more intensely blue the aquamarine gemstone, the more valuable. These days, however, both blue and green aquamarine gemstones are in demand.
Aquamarine is sometimes found with chatoyancy (the cat's eye effect) and extremely rarely with asterism (the star effect). These beautiful phenomena are caused by parallel aligned inclusions that reflect focused light. Such phenomenal gemstones are cut as cabochons to display their unusual visual effects. Cat's eye aquamarine cabochons with sharp, distinct eyes are best valued. Cat's eye aquamarine gems are often quite large, making them ideal for statement rings and pendants.
The largest aquamarine crystals ever found were from Minas Gerais in Brazil; one of the most famous sources for gemstones in the world, and the largest faceted aquamarine is the Dom Pedro Aquamarine, which weighs an incredible 26 kilograms! Apart from Brazil, aquamarine gemstones are found in mines all around the world, from Australia to Zimbabwe. Most of our current aquamarine stock is from India and Madagsacar.
A gemstone the color of seawater aptly has watery lore; it is said that aquamarine was kept in the treasure chests of mermaids and was regarded as a lucky stone for those who spend time at sea. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that aquamarine would ensure a safe, prosperous and healthy passage across a stormy sea. Nowadays, this belief is extended to include all travel.
Those who were born in the month of March get aquamarine as their official birthstone and couples who have been married for 19 years can celebrate with aquamarine anniversary stones. If you are partial to this beautiful blue-green beryl gemstone, there is no need to find an excuse to wear it in any jewelry design of your choosing. Aquamarine gemstones are refreshing on the eye, reminding us of a calm day at sea or a cool drink of water on a hot summer's day.
As usual, it is difficult to choose just a few gems to feature this month, since we have so many treasures in our extensive inventory, including Peruvian pink opal, spectrolite, cat's eye scapolite and star sapphire. However, here are three interesting stones in stock:
Cat's eye opal is a gem type that we are pleased to see again recently. Also known as "opalite cat's eye", cat's eye opal is a rare form of opal which exhibits chatoyancy (the cat's eye effect). The "eye" is the result of parallel inclusions that cause a strip of light to be reflected. This eye of light will glide across the stone as it is turned in the light. Our cat's eye opal gemstones are various colors ranging from pale yellow to golden honey color and come from Madagascar.
Red spinel is a beautiful red gem that is often mistaken for fine ruby and is always in demand due to its fine color, clarity, hardness and affordability. Whenever we are able to acquire a parcel of red spinel gemstones, they seem to sell very quickly. Spinel occurs in many colors, including purple, gray, pink, yellow, blue and black, but the most popular and valuable spinel color is red.
Some beautiful, ready-drilled jadeite fish carvings also caught our eye this month. Jadeite is the rarest of the two types of pure jade (the other is nephrite). In Chinese culture, fish represent abundance, so many like to wear these as necklace pendants or bracelet charms. Not only are they attractive jewelry gemstones with an incredible luster, but they may bring some luck to those who wear them!
Those who are loving McDonald's will be interested to know that the fast food giant has made an 18K gold, gemstone-encrusted, stackable ring in the shape of a Big Mac. The "Bling Mac" ring created by Nadine Ghosn is worth around $12,500 and will be given to the lucky winner of the McDonald's Bling Big Mac contest. To enter the contest, leave a "vow of love" on the McDonald's Twitter page.
Sotheby's Diamonds is offering a round, 102.34-carat, D-color flawless diamond for sale on the 1st anniversary of its Bond Street salon in London. The exceptional stone from the "Flawless Collection" was mined in Botswana and described by the GIA as the "largest, round shaped, D color, flawless diamond ever graded". The rough from which it was cut weighed 425.4 carats and yielded 25 stones in total. Though the price has not been revealed, the exceptional white diamond is expected to sell for over $33 million.
An important source of Colombian emeralds is set to begin mining operations once again. The iconic, 46-hectare Coscuez Mine was acquired by the CEO of Fura Gems back in October with the belief that it has previously untapped potential. The Coscuez Mine has yielded one of the largest emerald crystals in history; the Guinness Emerald Crystal, a 1,759-carat rough emerald that belongs to the Bank of the Republic of Colombia's collection.
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Happy Gem Hunting!
Your friends at GemSelect
- First Published: February-20-2018
- Last Updated: February-22-2018
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