At a base chemical make-up, an aquamarine is a beryl – emerald is the most well-known of this stone type – that’s formed with the presence of iron deposits in the mineral structure, giving it its distinctive hue.
In 1910, the largest ever aquamarine was found in Brazil, weighing over 110,000g. It was then cut into smaller stones, yielding over 200,000 carats. It is considered a less complicated stone to cut than others, which means that expert gem cutters are able to create intricate shapes and its soft hue is elegantly offset by an emerald, oval or pear-shaped cut.
Aquamarines typically have few inclusions and are most often eye-clean. A deep saturated blue, or intense slightly green shade is considered the most valuable in their grading. They have excellent transparency and near flawless clarity, displaying a clean, bright light play.
Aquamarines measure between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs scale, with a diamond being the hardest at 10. This stone can be susceptible to knocks and scratches but if treated with care and stored separately from other jewellery it will stay in great condition.
Keep it simple is the best advice for jewellery cleaning. Your aquamarine rings or jewellery can dull or build up residue with everyday wear, but the best way to revamp them is regular and gentle sprucing. Use a warm bath of mild liquid soap to soak them in a little, then rinse clean, using a soft brush to wipe away difficult dirt if it doesn’t wash away on its own, and leave to air dry. If you do use a drying cloth, choose one that’s made of cotton or linen fibres.