As calm and serene as the sea, Aquamarine is the sister of the ever-famous Emerald and lesser-known Morganite and Heliodor. Part of the Beryl group, it is better known for its transparency and beautiful light blue tones. Similarly, the colour range is just like the sea, varying from blue to slightly greenish.
Ancient Greek mythology associated the aquamarine with Poseidon (God of the sea). As stories go, this gemstone was said to protect sailors at sea. The Romans named it “The Sailor’s stone”. Closely resembling the clarity and colour of the sea, it’s no wonder that “Aquamarine” translates to ‘sea water’ in Latin. Over time, its popularity increased as the birthstone of March, and the gemstone for the 19th wedding anniversary.
Aquamarine Colour and Price
As per the Gemological Institute of America, the most valued colour of Aquamarine is dark blue; graduating in colour and price to the slightly greenish blue with moderately strong intensity. In other words, the more intense the colour, the higher its worth. However, most Aquamarine available is light blue and light greenish blue. Additionally, the larger the stone, the more appealing the colour.
Due to the elongated hexagonal nature of Aquamarine Rough, the gemstones are usually found to be cut in elongated shapes. The most popular are emerald cuts and oval cuts, but also pears and cushions. This also allows for maximum utilisation of the rough; the larger the size, the more pronounced its colour. The size of aquamarine crystals varies from very small to very large. However, due to the desaturated colour in smaller gemstones, the larger ones are more sought after.
The Cocktail Dream
Large stones make perfect centrepieces for cocktail rings. Since Aquamarine has a relatively good hardness (7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale), it is relatively durable for being worn on the hand, which is subject to a lot of wear and collision. Moreover, since the price of Aquamarine is much more affordable than diamonds and other precious gemstones, they are a popular choice amongst jewellers to craft into stunning cocktail rings. Bearing in mind that most Aquamarine stones were traditionally cut as emerald cuts or in shapes with flat sides, one would find Art Deco influence as a primary design aesthetic. However with changing times and technology, today you find an array of imaginative cuts. From carved stones paired with other contrasting gemstones to various other materials, design represents the designer’s creativity. A true work of art!
Left: A custom-carved Aquamarine frog designed by Loren Nicole from the Nebu Sands of Gold collection.
The Monarchy Aquamarine Cocktail
The most famous, and not to mention, iconic Aquamarine cocktail ring is that of Princess Diana. The ring features an emerald-cut aquamarine with diamond accents on the band which was a gift to her in 1996 by Lucia Flecha de Lima. It was made by Asprey. Lady Diana was spotted adorning this ring at various events, almost always paired with a complimenting blue dress. Fast forward to 2018, this stunning Aquamarine ring was spotted on Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex. Furthermore, Meghan wore the “something blue” cocktail ring to her wedding reception. It was a beautiful honour to her late mother-in-law and a stand out against her sleek white wedding gown. Thereafter, Meghan was spotted adorning the cocktail ring on other occasions, still pairing it with white dresses. Times change, fashion changes, but the spirit of a cocktail ring is timeless!
Aquamarine Design Houses
Breaking away from the standard is an asymmetrical cocktail ring by the pearl specialist Assael. It has a Toi-et-Moi ring concept – a paisley cut aquamarine and a South Sea Cultured Pearl.
Tiffany & Co.
Think blue, think Tiffany & Co! Nothing like a big blue centre stone on a vintage Tiffany & Co ring! A 15-carat emerald cut Aquamarine ring with diamond accents set it platinum with dainty milgrain detailing auctioning at Sotheby’s for 14,300 USD.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels boast a modern chunky cocktail ring with an oval cut Aquamarine set in 6 prongs. It is also surrounded by a custom cut onyx and paved diamonds which they call the ‘Moana Ring’ from Les Audacieuses collection.
Another glorious ring with an oval centre stone is the “Aloria Aquamarine Cocktail Ring” by Garrard. A calm duo of blue Aquamarine and white opals spaced between diamonds.
In 2021, Boucheron broke boundaries with its dynamic Holographique High Jewellery Carte Blanche collection using a combination of metals with holographic ceramic. One of the hero stones in this unique collection was Aquamarine.
Piaget’s famous Limelight Cocktail collection stirred up a stunner almost a decade ago with their “Blue Lagoon” cocktail ring with a cushion cut Aquamarine at the centre, cornered with contrasting fire opals and a standard diamond studded split shank.
Today too they keep the stone relevant in their collection with a new cut and style – The Piaget Rose ring with an Aquamarine cabochon encased with diamond studded petals and pear-shaped amethysts, Paraiba tourmalines, and Aquamarines.
Aquamarine, in our eyes is a stunning gemstone which wins in popularity in cocktail jewellery. The sheer size, as well as the stunning clarity alludes to the wearer creating a blue competition to the mighty sapphire. Its charm for its dreamy colour and friendly nature, makes it a gemstone which deserves a spot on your finger! To learn more about Aquamarine read more about this gemstone on our blog: Alluring Aquamarine!
Samantha C. Pais, GIA GG
Samantha is a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America. Founder of Curious Carat on Instagram, Samantha has over a decade of experience in the international jewellery industry, which shines through her work for The Gem Monarchy.
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