+44 (0) 191 240 2645

Free delivery on all silverware and jewellery

[email protected]

The Aquamarine Gemstone

Named after the Latin meaning "water,” and marina, meaning "of the sea,” the aquamarine gemstone is usually light blue in colour but can also be green-blue, and favoured in jewellery making - particularly in Art Deco and Art Nouveau jewellery. In the 19th century, the most popular and desirable colour for an aquamarine was sea-green whereas currently it is dark blue or sky-blue.

The aquamarine is the birthstone for those born in March and it is thought to represent tranquillity, serenity, and success. Aquamarine jewellery is the ideal gift for anyone who has a birthday in March, or anyone who has a particular affinity towards Art Deco jewellery. Most commonly cut in the emerald, oval, or pear cuts, aquamarines are associated with elongated elegance, and aquamarine jewellery is often extremely flattering on the wearer.

Aquamarine Jewellery
Aquamarine Gemstone

What Is an Aquamarine?

Aquamarines are part of the beryl family. These gems are normally pale blue in colour, but light blue-green and light green varieties are also common. This variety of beryl is given its colour by its high iron content. Although it is the light blue variety of aquamarine that we most commonly encounter in jewellery today, the sea-green variety was the most popular during the 19th century.

Cat's eye aquamarine is another popular variation of this gem. It is green-blue in tone and exhibits a rare phenomenon known as cat's eye chatoyancy. This is an optical display that mimics the slit-eye of a cat due to a particular reflection of light. Aquamarine’s are dichroic which means the colour will change depending on the angle it is viewed from.

The best quality aquamarine gemstones are found in Brazil, most commonly formed within cavities or alluvial deposits of gravel. They can also be found in Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Madagascar and Nigeria. Madagascan aquamarines are particularly dark blue in colour.

diamond platinum aquamarine rings
vintage aquamarine rings
vintage aquamarine cocktail ring

The History of the Aquamarine

Throughout much of recorded history, the aquamarine has been believed to serve a symbolic purpose and bring luck to the wearer.

During the Roman era, these gemstones were often embellished with a carved image of a frog, creating a talisman that was thought to reconcile enemies and make them friends. In addition to this, the Romans also believed that aquamarines would "absorb the atmosphere of young love." Because of this, the gemstone was considered the most appropriate gift to give to a bride on the morning after her wedding, and today the aquamarine is considered the official present for a 19th wedding anniversary. There was another Roman belief that aquamarines would help to cure illnesses; particularly of the stomach, liver, jaw, and throat.

For the Romans and the Greeks, the aquamarine was believed to be the sailor's gem, presumably because of the stone's resemblance of the ocean. Having an aquamarine on the ship was thought to ensure a safe passage through rough and choppy tides.

The pale blue stone was later believed to bring luck to soldiers. During the medieval period, it was thought that wearing an aquamarine into battle would render a soldier invincible. It was also believed, within medieval society, that this gemstone would reawaken the love of married couples.

After the Victorian era, in the late 19th century, Aquamarines encountered perhaps their biggest surge in popularity. During this time, Art Nouveau styles rebelled against the strictness of the Victorian era and jewellery makers took inspiration from nature and animals creating swirling, playful designs often incorporating gold. The aquamarine was also a jewel of choice when it came to the Art Deco era during the early 20th century. The elongated, emerald cut gems perfectly suited the sleek geometric jewellery styles that this artistic movement was so famous for.

The aquamarines’ delicate appearance and beautiful colour has made them perfect for elaborate 19th century cannetille parures. The gemstones are usually backed with foil to enhance the vibrant colour and brilliance. In the 20th century, heat-treated aquamarines are more common – due to the fact that this intensifies the colour. This meant there was no use for foiled backs, and therefore the aquamarine could be cut and used in a large variety of pieces.

Step cuts are the most popular cuts for aquamarines. If the table facet is parallel to the length of the gemstone, it enhances the aquamarines vibrant colour. The aquamarines clarity is also a large selling point as they are particularly clear. Most aquamarines do not show any inclusions visible to the naked eye, which in conclusion, enhances their beauty.

Aquamarine Ring
Gold Aquamarine Ring
Aquamarine Dress Ring

The Symbolism of the Aquamarine

Folklore dictates that aquamarines are lucky omens that bring victory in battles and other disputes. These gemstones are known for emanating calmness and serenity, negating any need for a quarrel. What's more, this gemstone is also believed to bring out the best in the wearer, rendering them more friendly and intelligent.

As well as this, the aquamarine symbolises tranquillity, vitality, hope, loyalty, and truth. Its association with the ocean has long made people believe that it is both powerful and serene, as well as being beautiful to look at.

Here at AC Silver, we have a wide variety of exquisite aquamarine jewellery including necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, and brooches for you to choose from. For an elegant and dazzling look, aquamarines are an excellent choice. They also look particularly eye-catching when paired with smaller sparkling diamonds.

Proud Members of

International Federation of Art and Antique Dealer Associations CINOA
National Association of Jewellery UK's trade association NAJ