World Famous Aquamarine Gems and Jewelries
by Madhubanti Rudra
Brazil is the chief source of producing the world famous and finest
quality aquamarines. Aquamarines also occur in some places in Africa,
especially in Mozambique. They are distinguished from the “Santa Maria”
category by the name “Santa Maria Africana”.
Since the beginning of human history, the colorful world of gem stones
fascinated mankind. Rich-poor alike were enthralled by their breath taking
beauty. The mighty and powerful - they always wanted more and more of them. The
emperors, the conquerors, the pirates - time and again they made expeditions to
the remotest corners of the earth, thomped the seven seas, stirred the whole
planet in search of the rarest and the costliest of its kind. All these opened
up the casket of huge treasure hidden in the womb of mother nature. The
tradition of these adventures continues also in the modern days.
Only, the world famous geological scientists replaced the kings and pirates.
Then, in addition to the traditional favourites like diamond, emerald or ruby,
the semi precious stones like, amethyst or aquamarine caught their attention in
a large way. Especially aquamarine with its azure hue swept the admiration of
the modern world of 21st century. According to the legends, aquamarine, which
originated in the treasure chaste of the mermaids, symbolizes love and loyalty.
Presence of iron lends the blue tone to this beryl group gem, which is
available in a range of blue shades, from pale to a greenish blue to a dark
blue. The shades in aquamarine depend on the places of their origin and these
two factors together command the value of the stone. Brazil is the chief source
of producing the world famous and finest quality aquamarines. The world market
of rough aquamarine crystals is dominated by this South American country. Among
world's most famous aquamarines, "Santa Maria" occupies the premier position.
It is characterized by an intensely deep blue hue, which is very rare. They are
found in the Santa Maria de Itabira mine in Brazil. They are very much high
priced and regarded as a collector's delight. Similar coloured aquamarines also
occur in some places in Africa, especially in Mozambique. They are
distinguished from the "Santa Maria" category by the name "Santa Maria
Africana". Another category of Brazilian aquamarine named "Espirito Santo"
acquired worldwide repute. They are not so intensely blue as the Santa Maria.
"Martha Rocha" Which has been named after a Brazilian beauty queen also
displays a unique blue colour. From time to time, large aqua crystal of high
quality has been collected from the huge Brazilian mines. For example, in 1910,
a 110.5 Kg crystal was mined at Marainba, Minas Gerais. Another famous big
stone was, "Dom Pedro". It weighed 26 Kg, and was cut in 1992 by Idar-Oberstein
gemstone artiste Bernd Munsteiner. Till date it is the largest ever cut
There is a 911 CT aquamarine from Brazil which is displayed in Smithsonian
museum in Washinton DC in the Hall of Gems, along with other famous gems as the
Hope diamond. Another well formed aquamarine crystal was found in Brazil in
1920 that weighed 243 lbs. It was 19/16 inchs., greenish on the outside blue on
the inside and so transparent that objects were clearly visible through its
length. The British museum of Natural History has a flawless aquamarine of 879
Cts., and the Los Angels Country Museum Of Natural History has a fine 638 CT
stone. In 1935 the Brazilian government gave Eleanor Roosevelt a, 1847 CT
aquarine. It is now in the museum of Hyde Park, the Roosevelt's New York
estate. The Madagascar aquamarines are also famous. Known as "Madagascar Aqua",
they usually display a medium dark blue colour.
The African aquamarines that are found mainly in the countries like Namibia,
Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe are famous for untreated deep blue colour that
persist in even in the smallest cut stones. Some world famous aquamarines are
also found in the Karakoram ranges in Pakistan and Afganistan. Nagar Aqua of
Pegmatite origin is mined at the heights of some 15,000 Ft. in Nagar, Hunza.
The sizes vary from a few cms. To 30 cms. Individual crystals of 2/3 gms. To
250 gms. Have also been discovered. Haramosh aquamarines are also found in the
same Karakoram range. They display a fine light to dark blue shades.
Jewelleries made out of aquamarines demonstrate a contemporary, yet classic
look which is just perfect for the independent and fashionable model women.
Hence it is no wonder that these days aquamarine Jewelleries have become
quite a rage in the international market. Some of the aquamarine jewelleries
created by world famous designers are in high demand in the international
circuit of jewellery enthusiasts. Some of the very well known designs rival
each other in their beauty and uniqueness. These days aquamarine has become hot
favourite among the modern designers. With the touch of innovative cuttings,
and through the fusion of colours with other semi precious gems, they are
creating such pieces of art which are truly stunning visual delight for the
connocieurs of jewelleries.