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 aquamarine.
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.