Locality - Angola
Size – 53 x 16 x 16mm
Weight – 24g
This Angolan aquamarine crystal displays oceanic blue colours with line patterns like crackling ice. It has been expertly cut to a sharply terminated standing point and polished to a high, glossy lustre. These Angolan aquamarine specimens are a limited specialty and make an impressive addition to a rare crystal collection.
Aquamarine is the aqua blue to sea green variety of beryl, the mineral family that includes well known gemstones such as morganite and emerald. It is named after the Latin 'aqua marina', meaning 'water of the sea', in reference to its characteristic oceanic colour which is due to traces of iron within the crystal. Aquamarine is highly prized by mineral collectors and gem cutters as it often forms in large, flawless, glassy formations, unlike many other beryl variants, and is known as the birth stone for March. Most aquamarine is mined in Brazil, with Madagascar also being an abundant source of quality gems, though there are significant deposits also found in Pakistan, Russia, USA and many African countries. One of the largest and most famous aquamarine crystals in the world is the 'Dom Pedro', faceted into a spectacular obelisk standing 35cm tall and weighing over 2 kilograms, and it resides in the Smithsonian Institution to this day.
Aquamarine in History
Aquamarine was first discovered in 1723 in an abundant deposit in the Adon-Chalon mountains in Siberia. The peak production year of this deposit was 1796, when over 70 kilograms of gem rough was mined. The ancient Greeks believed this gem captured the spirit of the sea and wore aquamarine jewelry when seafaring, and many cultures have since used the gem to aid those facing the wrath of the sea. Ancient Indians prized the gem for setting in amulets, and the Egyptians placed it in talismans. Throughout history, aquamarine has inspired many peoples and been held with admiration due to its beauty and various regarded metaphysical properties and it remains popular, iconic and highly sought after to this day.