The aquamarine is a completely different gemstone to the bloodstone. Pale, delicate blue, transparent and, to me, it is very feminine. It can sometimes have a slight greenish tint. Aquamarines are part of the beryl family, along with emeralds, pink morganite, yellow heliodor and golden beryl. The name ‘beryl’ comes from the greek beryllos which referred to a “precious blue-green color-of-sea-water stone”. Aquamarine takes its name from the sea, literally, water of the sea.

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Antique mabe pearl and aquamarine brooch, 9ct (in Navette on Ruby Lane)

The gemstone is 7.5-8 on the mohs scale so is suitable for rings, necklace, brooches and earrings. Unlike emeralds, aquamarines are usually inclusion free. They can also be quite large. Today, most aquamarines will have been heat treated. The largest producer of aquamarines is Brazil.

Vintage aquamarine and kunzite brooch, silver gilt (in Navette on Ruby Lane)

Popular for centuries, particularly with the Georgians, aquamarine experienced increased use in Edwardian jewellery in the late 19th, early 20th centuries. It was incorporated into beautiful light necklaces that went so well with their lighter clothing styles. It was used with other light coloured gemstones like pearls and moonstones, and sometimes diamonds.

Aquamarines today are often mistaken for topaz. Since the 1960s, colourless topaz have been irradiated and heat treated to a similar light blue. Topaz is a much cheaper stone as there are much larger and accessible deposits of it.

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Georgian aquamarine and gold brooch