A gemstone steeped in myths and legends, the splendid aquamarine is treasured for its sea-blue colours, which remind one of tranquil waters, stormy oceans and the crystal-clear lagoons of the Caribbean.
“According to legends, the aquamarine comes from the treasure chest of mermaids. It has been regarded as the mariner’s lucky stone since ancient times,” said Constantin Wild of Idar-Oberstein-based W. Constantin Wild & Co.
The gemstone specialist has an extensive selection of aquamarines, including gem-quality stones from Brazil and Africa.
Wild said the world’s most valuable aquamarines shine in an intense deep blue, most notably the Santa Maria aquamarines from Minas Gerais in Brazil.
“But now, the deposits there are more or less exhausted,” he said. “It is very fortunate for gemstone lovers that stones of the same seductive hue have been found in Mozambique in East Africa. This beautiful relative is known as the Santa Maria Africana. I myself have often been to Brazil; and today, I travel to Africa to make sure I obtain the most beautiful specimens, right where they are found.”
Aquamarines are found in many places around the world from the Russian Urals and Australia to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. In Africa, finds have also been made in Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Like the emerald, golden beryl, morganite and bixbite, the aquamarine belongs to the large beryl family. “It has traces of the element iron to thank for its colour, and it exhibits a clear, pure radiance much more often than its famous green cousin,” Wild said.
Aquamarine’s incredible colours – from crystal-clear blue and greenish and greyish blue to intense, almost dark blue – make it one of the world’s most sought-after gemstones. The stone is also suitable for any shape including the subtle, classical, octagonal emerald cut; the many-facetted cuts in round and pointed shapes; the modern cabochon, and several fantasy cuts.
“Everywhere, the aquamarine leaves a lasting impression, be it in a classical necklace or a modern decorative object,” he said.
Aquamarine tones are also anticipated to be popular this autumn.
According to the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Autumn/Winter 2017, “Marina” and “Bluebell” are among the shades for fall based on the collections shown by designers in New York and London Fashion Weeks. “Marina,” which is part of the colour palette for New York, is described as “cool with an enhanced vitality,” and “the only truly cool colour in the fall palette that brings with it freshness and brightness.” “Bluebell,” which is seen on London’s runways, is a “tranquil blue” reflecting “connection and a soothing sense of peace.”
“Lovers of high-quality gemstones should be aware that those wishing to acquire an aquamarine in the colour known as ‘Marina’ will have to dig deep into their pockets. Shining in an intense blue, these are among the most valuable aquamarines in the world on account of their rareness. Good and medium-quality aquamarines in ‘Bluebell’ shades are available at more affordable prices,” Wild said. Tracing its roots to 1847, W. Constantin Wild & Co said it subjects its gemstones to a number of tests and inspections. The company also pushes for sustainable and ethical mining practices, regularly holding dialogues with suppliers who provide optimum working conditions for employees. The gemstone dealer likewise implements manufacturing processes that are sustainable and have low environmental impact,