Aquamarine is not among the top ten rarest gems, but it ranks 27th in the top thirty rarest gems on planet earth. This means aquamarine isn’t uncommon, but is still moderately rare.
In this post, we’ll explore what makes aquamarines rare, myths and legends that add to aquamarine’s rarity, and some gift ideas you should keep in mind when shopping for aquamarine jewellery in Melbourne.
What Makes a Gemstone Rare?
Before we discuss aquamarines, let’s be clear about what makes a gemstone rare. Diamonds are easily available. These are also among the most extracted gemstones on earth. Despite that, gem enthusiasts regard diamonds as the rarest stone on earth.
What is it that truly makes a gemstone rare? There are three definitions of rarity when it comes to gemstones:
- Any gemstone that’s difficult to mine or obtain from the earth
- Any gemstone naturally formed in minimal quantities
- Any gemstone that features unparalleled or remarkable attributes
A gemstone that satisfies one, two, or all three of the above definitions is a rare gemstone.
What Makes Aquamarines Rare?
Aquamarines belong to the large beryl families and are mined in abundance from at least ten different countries, including Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Nigeria, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Afghanistan, Brazil, and Pakistan. Among these, Brazil has been the largest producer of aquamarine for over one hundred years. It is easy to mine, as most deposits of aquamarine are located near the earth’s surface. Sometimes, aquamarine can even be hand picked, meaning its mining doesn’t involve any complex machinery.
Given that, the first and second definitions of rarity are ruled out. This leaves us with the third–unparalleled attributes–and that’s exactly what makes aquamarines unique. Some noteworthy and unique features of aquamarine stones are as follows:
A Range of Colours
The colour of aquamarine ranges from sea green to deep blue; sea green aquamarines are more common than those of deep blue. Colour also determines the price of aquamarine, and deep blue stones are generally more expensive.
As a pleochroic stone, aquamarine reflects different shades of blue and green at different angles.
Exhibits High Clarity
Most of the mined aquamarine stones are incredibly transparent. They are free of inclusions, scratches, and blemishes.
What Are Some of the Rarest Aquamarine Variants?
Certain variants of aquamarine have a greater worth, and are more valuable than the rest. These are usually:
- Deep blue (without undergoing any heat treatments)
- Absolutely transparent and free of inclusions
- Small-sized (twenty-five carats or less)
Apart from that, there are two specific varieties of aquamarine that are the rarest of all. These are:
- Cat-Eye Effect Aquamarine
- Asterisk Effect Aquamarine
Both of these are rare because they exhibit chatoyancy, which is an optical phenomenon. This occurs when a light beam enters the inclusions of these stones and reflects in a way that allows you to observe a sparkling beam of white light, which appears and vanishes at different angles. In an aquamarine with a cat-eye effect, only one such beam appears. However, an aquamarine with multiple beams is known to have an asterisk effect, which is even more valuable–these stones often feature the Cabochon cut.
What Are Some Myths and Legends of Aquamarine?
Now that you know that aquamarine is moderately rare, why does its rarity matter, anyway? Sure, aquamarines are beautiful, but so are other gemstones. The meaning and value attached to aquamarines is what sets them apart and adds meaning to their rarity level. The folklore and legends that give meaning to the stone include:
- Due to its mesmerising blue, some people believe the stones represent the heavens
- Some legends narrate that meditating with aquamarine has helped with epiphanies
- Some believe that the stone’s perfect symmetry and reflective properties can reveal the matters of the soul and hidden aspects of reality
- Some people feel empowered in their reasoning and decision-making skills by wearing aquamarine, believing it clears the mind
What Are Some Aquamarine Gift Ideas?
Because aquamarine is an affordable rare gemstone, it makes for a great gift. Plus, the stone symbolises tranquillity, peace, hope, and the strength of friendship, which adds deep meaning to your gesture. Here are some unique aquamarine gift ideas:
- Raw stone necklace or ring
- Halo aquamarine earrings
- Aquamarine lamp
- Flower vase with small-sized embedded aquamarine stones
- Collectible cat-eye stones
- Orgonite pyramids
If you’d like to make your gift really special, you can opt for custom-made jewellery and accessories featuring delicate aquamarine stones–we have plenty to choose from at Holloway Diamonds!