Aquamarine is a blue or turquoise stone, which is a variety of the mineral beryl, and a close relative to the green emerald stone. It is mined all over the world, wherever deposits of beryl are found although some of the most expensive and best aquamarines are mined in Russia. It is also found in the United States, parts of South America and in some African countries.
Aquamarine stones vary greatly in appearance, ranging in color from a light sky blue to a deep sea blue with a hint of green. The most expensive aquamarines are those that are a clear, deep blue color without any hues of green. As the green hue from an aquamarine stone can be removed through heating, many of the top quality aquamarines you find on the market today have been heat-treated so that they are a very deep, rich blue in color. Most aquamarine gems found on the market today are flawless. While it is possible to produce synthetic aquamarine gems the cost of doing so is very high particularly in light of the abundance of natural, high-quality aquamarines you can find.
It is a fairly hard stone, rating between 7.5 to 8 although it may develop tiny cracks internally if exposed to a lot of pressure or if banged very hard on something. You also need to be careful about too much exposure to light, as it can fade the gem or cause the color to change. Aside from that, the stone itself is a very popular choice to set in jewelry. Its soft, blue color complements platinum, silver and white gold perfectly, although it is also occasionally set in yellow gold.
Aquamarine engagement rings have become a very popular choice amongst those soon to be married. Whereas once the traditional engagement ring was a diamond set in gold, many people are now choosing aquamarine stones set in either white gold or platinum. Platinum is often chosen over white gold because of its very durable nature, meaning that rings made from platinum will most likely last a lifetime and beyond. The clear blue of the aquamarine stone complements the silver color of platinum perfectly. You can find an aquamarine engagement ring for both a man and a woman. Usually, the stone in the woman’s ring is smaller than that in the man’s ring, with a woman usually choosing a one carat stone. The most popular cut for a woman’s engagement ring is the classic princess cut whereas men tend to favor the round cut. Aquamarine can be cut in a variety of ways, however, including the popular oval and square cuts.
Another popular type of ring is the aquamarine diamond ring. There is probably no other stone, beside a diamond that complements the beautiful clear blue color of the aquamarine. Consequently, you will frequently see an aquamarine and diamond ring. These are very popular engagement rings and they are also often given as eternity rings. A current trend in aquamarine jewelry is a return to the past, with many antique style replica rings being reproduced. These have an old-style charm of their own and are very popular also to exchange as engagement rings. Rings from different periods are usually set differently with the stones cut according to whatever style was popular at the time, usually with the aquamarine flanked by precious diamonds and set on an engraved band.
If a platinum engagement ring is too expensive, you may find that the range of aquamarine rings white gold settings are more affordable. Platinum is an extremely hard wearing metal that is naturally white in color. However, it does cost approximately twice as much as white gold. Therefore, it is usually quite a bit cheaper to purchase an aquamarine set in white gold than one set in platinum. The only drawback with white gold is that it may need to be plated with Rhodium, the metal that gives the silver ‘white gold’ its white appearance, every year or so. This is not an expensive process and it is simply done in most jewelry shops.
Aquamarine is a popular choice when it comes to choosing a stone for an engagement ring. It is also used to make necklaces, pendants, earrings and other jewelry. The stone itself is not expensive when compared to other gems and as such, it is often surrounded by other precious stones, with diamonds being the most popular companion. Due to the soft blue coloring of the stone, it is usually matched with either white gold or platinum, or cheaper rings can be found made from Sterling Silver. While it is less usual to find it set in yellow gold, it is also possible to find some very classic designed rings made in this manner. The stone itself is long lasting and hard wearing, providing care is taken with it and it is not bumped or exposed to too much direct sunlight.
Aquamarine Ring: the Alternative Wedding Ring
An aquamarine ring makes a beautiful wedding ring, an engagement ring or a present for wedding anniversaries. Aquamarines have a long history and have been worn by the Ancient Egyptians and by the Ancient Greeks. Today’s jewelers appreciate aquamarines because of their high degree of clarity, their hardness, and the beautiful blue or greenish color.
Facts about Aquamarine
A member of the beryl family of gemstones, aquamarine is blue or blue-green in color and is generally one of the most loved stones especially in aquamarine engagement rings. The color can vary from a very pale shade of blue to a green-blue, and the most valuable and sought-after type is the deep aqua blue. The hardness of the stone falls between 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. The best stones are found in Brazil although Russia and many African and Asian countries also mine aquamarine, including Madagascar, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The color and the clarity of gemstones are often enhanced by heating the stones, and aquamarine can be heated in order to change the color from a greenish blue to a more pure blue shade. Heat treatment changes the color permanently.
Aquamarines go especially well together with diamonds. Aquamarine and diamond ring can look stunning and makes a present that will always be appreciated. Other stones that are often used together with aquamarines include many of the dark gemstones. Because of the variety in shades and tones from the palest of blues to the green-tinted varieties, aquamarines can be worn by almost anyone regardless of skin tone. Earrings or necklaces made with aquamarines can complement a wedding or engagement ring.
Gemstones have traditionally been divided into precious and semi-precious, but definitions have always varied in different cultures and in different times. Precious stones generally include diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and opals. The popularity of aquamarine has meant that it has often been classified as precious. Today the division into semi-precious and precious stones is not so important anymore and even semi-precious stones are often used in the most expensive types of jewelry because of their appearance. The value of a colored gemstone can be determined by several factors including clarity, color, any unique effects such as asteria (meaning star effects on the stone) or different zones of color.
The clarity of the stone is one of the main factors. Clarity in gemstones means the number of inclusions in the stone, and the clearer the stone is the better its quality is. Aquamarines are generally clear and have few inclusions. Several different scales are used to determine the clarity of a gemstone, but one of the most common is the GIA scale, also used for diamonds. Aquamarines classified on the GIA scale should be flawless (F) or internally flawless (IF), very very slightly included (VVS1/VVS2) or very slightly included (VS1/VS2). EC, or eye clean, is another sign of high quality.
The brilliance of a gemstone means its luster and its ability to reflect light. The brilliance enhances the color of the stone and makes it shine, and a high brilliance means a higher quality stone. When choosing an aquamarine engagement ring, the color of the stone can be chosen based on a personal preference. Deep blue stones are the most valuable and also the most expensive but a lighter shade of blue or a greenish blue can also look good in an aquamarine diamond ring or an aquamarine white gold ring.
Legends and Myths
In astrology, Aquamarine is the birthstone for the month of March but is also related to the Zodiac sign Scorpio. Aquamarine rings can make beautiful presents for anyone born under the Scorpio sign, and aquamarines are also traditionally given as presents for the 16th and the 19th wedding anniversary.
Aquamarines have an important place in the folklore of many countries and have been traditionally believed to bring happiness, courage, and foresight, as well as youthfulness and intelligence. Healing properties associated with this stone include its believed ability to reduce anxiety. Sailors have traditionally worn aquamarines for protection, for safety and to ward off seasickness, and medieval healers believed that the stones could help to heal a person suffering from poisoning. It is also believed to help marriages to succeed and to flourish, which makes it a good choice for a wedding or engagement ring.
In Ancient Egypt, the stone was carved into animal forms and aquamarines were worn for protection. In Rome, aquamarines were believed to be able to ward off evil, to get rid of laziness, and to improve eyesight. The Roman Emperor Nero apparently used the stone for better eyesight. The Ancient Greeks used the stone as a love charm, and this is another good reason to buy an aquamarine ring for weddings or engagements.
Antique Diamond Aquamarine Engagement Ring
Engagement rings, as we all know, are the most sought out ones and everyone wants to get a unique, beautiful and elegant engagement ring and most often the cheap diamond rings. If you go out to buy an engagement ring, you will be hauled by arrays of designs and styles. If you are a person who values heritage and legacy, antique rings are for you. And if you have a love for water or sea, aquamarine is for you. And, of course, not forgetting, diamonds are an intimate part of an engagement ring.
Different styles of the diamond aquamarine engagement ring: If your fiancée and you have these two birthstones, combining the two in an engagement ring would give the ring the most tantalizing and exquisite look. The beautiful shades of blue of aquamarine and lustrous diamonds will be an extravaganza. They can both be set differently in a ring, the most common being the emerald-cut aquamarine in the center and smaller princess cut diamonds surrounding it to make it shine even brightly. Diamond can also be the center of the ring but its shine may hinder by the surrounding aquamarines. A flower shaped arrangement or a heart-shaped design can also look pretty on one’s hands. They can be set on white gold and platinum. Yellow gold may not go well with the blue shades of aquamarine. Selecting the stones need the same clarity, cut and carat considerations.
Diamond aquamarine engagement rings that are antique too: Antique rings possess an heirloom that is why they are cherished and valued. Aquamarine diamond rings can be found as Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian or Art Deco rings. Before buying an antique aquamarine and diamond engagement ring, carefully look at the quality of the stones and the crafting band metal. The stones and the metal should possess the same brightness and brilliance as any other newer ring has. The ring settings holding the diamonds and aquamarines should not have any loose connections.