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Aquamarine: a coveted and famous blue gemstone

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

Aquamarine is one of the best valued gems in the world. Discover here its characteristics, the most expensive color and the largest that has been cut.

Aquamarine is a beryl, with hues ranging from sky blue to greenish blue. Hence its name is related to the color of the sea water.

Without a doubt, aquamarine is one of the highest valued gemstones in the world. It is also considered one of the most beautiful gems and some of its specimens are part of the most expensive jewels in history.

But what are its characteristics? What is the most expensive colour? What is the largest aquamarine in the world?

Read on and discover the most fascinating facts about this gemstone!

1. A blue colored beryl

Aquamarine in Fantasy Irregular cut by Oscar Bautista

Aquamarine is not alone (literally!). It belongs to the group of beryl and owes its characteristic hue to the presence of iron.

Within the beryl we also find some of the most famous and used stones in the world of jewelry. We are talking about emerald (with chromium / vanadium), morganite or pink beryl (with manganese) and heliodor or golden beryl (whose color is due to iron ions).

2. Deep blue: the most expensive colour

Aquamarines are found in light hues, sky blue, which can appear almost transparent depending on the cut and size of the gemstone.

But not all of them are crystal clear to the eye. Some specimens are opaque. In these cases, they are considered of lower quality.

Worldwide, heat treatment has been accepted to bring out the color of these stones. Even so, a higher value is given to those that keep their original tonality (without enhancements). Therefore, the most expensive and sought after are natural deep blue aquamarines.

Aquamarine Fantasy Cut by Oscar Bautista

3. Deposits

Some of the best known aquamarines so far have been mined in Minas Gerais in Brazil and in the Ural Mountains (Russia).

Deposits of this gemstone have also been reported in Afghanistan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zambia, among others.

4. Use of aquamarine in jewellery

Aquamarine has a hardness of 7.5 to 8.0 on the Mohs Scale and has been widely used in jewelry.

Medium and low quality aquamarines are generally set in silver and bronze jewelry. The most expensive are used in gold and platinum pieces, and are often accompanied by diamonds that add shine and highlight this beryl as the main component.

Calibrated Aquamarine in Pair by Oscar Bautista

5. The largest cut aquamarine in the world

Coming from Brazil, the Dom Pedro aquamarine was mined in the state of Minas Gerais in the 80s. It weighs a little over 10.000 carats (about 2 kilos) and measures approximately 35 centimeters. It was cut in Germany in the shape of an obelisk and bought by collectors in 1999.

Later, it was donated to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and is currently part of the Gem and Mineral Collection.


Check out the cutting process of an Aquamarine in our video!




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