A Sea of Enchantment: Discovering Aquamarine Engagement RingsMarch 14, 2017
Embarking on a new life with the person you love is perhaps one of the boldest decisions a person can make, and thus, for many brides, the aquamarine is the gemstone of choice for their perfect engagement ring. Long a symbol of courage and health, this variant of beryl has been appreciated since ancient times not just for its beauty, but for its powerful associations with a long and happy life.
A Stone of the Sea: The History of the Aquamarine
Ancient civilizations regarded the aquamarine as a stone of the sea, well-loved by sea gods and a rare treasure from the hoard of the mermaids. In one of his most famous works, the philosopher and naturalist Pliny the Elder referred to aquamarine as the best of the variants of beryl, saying "The most esteemed beryls are those which in colour resemble the pure green of the sea." Pliny didn't coin the term aquamarine, but his phrasing certainly suggested the name we give to it: the word comes from the Latin aqua marina, meaning "sea water."
Pliny and his fellow Romans (as well as the Egyptians and Greeks before them) treasured this stone not just for its sparkling beauty and color, but because they associated it with healing, courage, and long life. The Romans and Egyptians used the stone in medicinal rituals, and considered the stone itself both a protection against, and an antidote to, poison. And from sailors wearing the gem as a charm against sea sickness and disaster to soldiers and statesmen relying on it as a shield in battles literal and figurative, the aquamarine has a rich history as the stone of choice for protection and restoration.
In today's world, we still treasure the aquamarine for these associations. You and your partner might not be saddling up for battle against the Carthaginians, but choosing an aquamarine stone can signify your desire for a long, healthy, and happy relationship that's ready to weather the journey through life's stormy waters.
Fast Facts: Aquamarine Gems
Clear and brilliant as sun-dappled seawater, aquamarines are a gorgeous and elegant choice for any bride who's looking for delicate, yet enduring beauty.
Ranging in color from palest blue to deeper marine tones, aquamarines get their color from the high concentration of iron in their mineral structure, similar to the way another variant of beryl, the emerald, gets its coloration from chromium and vanadium. The world's largest cut aquamarine, the Dom Pedro, is a little too large for engagement ring use - it weighs in at roughly 10,000 carats - but it does showcase the wide range of hues possible, as well as the innate beauty of this popular stone.
Choosing an Aquamarine Engagement Ring
Showcasing the official birthstone of March, aquamarine engagement rings make a very popular choice for springtime brides, as well as anyone who's looking for cool, clear stones that soothe the mind and promise lasting happiness and beauty. Selecting this gem for your engagement ring connects you with a long line of people across history who have cherished it for its legendary associations with magic, myth, and lasting love-including, including Art Deco brides who adored gemstone rings.
Choosing the right aquamarine engagement ring for you depends on a variety of factors, including your preferred cut, hue and clarity, size, and setting. Antique and vintage engagement rings vary in design by era, so if you have a specific theme or special symbolism you'd like to convey with your ring, understanding the trends and tropes of each era can help you make an informed choice.
For example, if you love intricate details and top-shelf glamour, an Edwardian-era or Art Deco ring might be the choice for you. If, on the other hand, you cherish nature themes and artistic mastery with adventurous and imaginative materials, the Art Nouveau or Retro periods might be a better place to start. And those of you who love flowery, feminine elegance won't go far wrong with a ring from the Victorian era. And when you choose a vintage or antique ring, you'll find you've become part of a longer story, with your own contribution to make to the magical and romantic history of your ring.
Protection. Healing. Courage. Longevity. The blessings of the sea. Whatever your desire, and whichever aquamarine engagement ring fits your personal style and budget, making this blue-green beauty a part of your nuptials is sure to make your voyage into matrimony a very special one.
Return to blog home