Aquamarine, the dazzling sea-blue gemstone, gets its name from the Latin word aqua marinus, which means "water of the sea". It is a member of the beryl mineral family. The presence of iron during its formation causes the stone to develop a distinctive hue. An aquamarine’s color ranges from pale blue to blue-green or teal. Those with a dark and deeply saturated blue tone are considered to be the most valuable and coveted ones.
Brazil is the leading source of aquamarine with mines spread all across the country. This clear blue crystal is also mined in Australia, Myanmar (Burma), China, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as USA. The largest documented aquamarine was found in 1910 in Brazil, which weighed around 244 pounds. The largest cut aquamarine in the world is the Dom Pedro aquamarine that weighs 10,363 carats and is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
Aquamarines are more frequently available in nature than emeralds, which also belong to the beryl family. But unlike emeralds, an aquamarine is almost free from inclusions. It is a hard gemstone, making it a good option for frequently worn jewelry like rings; though earrings and pendants best display its scintillating color and clarity.