Aquamarine – Ocean blue
Unlike other beryls, such as emerald, aquamarine commonly occurs with few or no noticeable inclusions. It is also pleochroic, sometimes appearing blue or colourless, depending on the angle of viewing, or blue and greenish blue – this is also one of the main optical differences between aquamarine and topaz, another commonly seen blue stone.
The name aquamarine is derived from latin, meaning water of the sea. The best aquamarines range from sky blue to dark blue and most ideally coloured aquamarines available today have been heat treated. Submitting the stones to 850 degree farenheit drives the yellow and green tints off and deepens the blue in a permanent colour change.
Gem quality, near flawless aquamarine crystals can be very large compared to many other fine gemstones. For example, the largest gem quality aquamarine, mined in Brazil in 1910, weighed over 110kgs and was cut into more than 100,000 carats of gems.
Today the best sources of high quality aquamarine tends to be Brazil, although we also get some very nice pieces from the other major gemstone countries such as Madagascar, Mozambique,, Zimbabwe, India and Pakistan.
A wide variety of cuts is typically available, including emerald, cushion and oval although we often re-cut these to match the specific requirements of our clients. The larger sizes of the aquamarine lends itself well to the bolder ring designs from Damian By Mischelle. We regularly set in excess of 50 carats for clients that want a very high quality, ‘statement blue’.