Blues and greens have long been associated with the summer months; they’re the colors of the ocean, the clear sky, the grass, and other elements that elicit a sense of relaxation (and maybe even some time off from work…). Could that be why colored stone jewelry featuring blue and green gems are far and away the most popular?
Aquamarine and peridot are personal favorites of mine. I use both stones quite a lot in my collection. As a gem junkie, I am quite particular when it comes to the quality of the stones I use. Ironically, despite the fact that both are readily available, fine quality pieces – free of inclusions and deep in saturation of color -- have become rarer and rarer (which means harder to find and significantly more expensive than they were in the recent past).
Here's a bit of education regarding these beauties:
Appearing in a range of blue hues, from the color of the sky to the sea, this gem is no longer appreciated only by March babies lucky enough to have aqua as their birthstone. I always joke that an aquamarine is like a good pair of jeans; it just goes with everything! Belonging to the same (beryl) family as the emerald, this ever-popular stone is almost always cleaner, clearer, and freer of inclusions than its green cousin. The deeper the color, the rarer and more valuable the stone. My favorites are referred to as the “Santa Maria” stones – an homage to one particular mine in Brazil long since dry, though famous for the rich blue hue. A few spectacular aquamarines are the most prized gems of my collection. Fun fact: The largest gem quality aquamarine ever mined was found in 1910 in Minas Gerais (the gem rich region of Brazil) and weighed over 240 pounds (according to Walter Schulmann’s Gemstones of the World). Just imagine the scale of that piece! The largest cut gem, however, now resides in Washington, DC’s Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
One of the few gemstones that exists in one color only – a rich apple green perfect for sunny, summery climates (and no wonder, therefore, that it is the August birthstone). Although peridots vary enormously in quality and in shade of green (from the more yellowy to olive to brownish) the most beautiful stones come from the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan; and East Burma (now knows as Myanmar). Peridot is a very old stone that has been popular for centuries – millennia actually! It can be found in Egyptian jewelry dating back to the second millennium B.C. and adorning treasures in medieval churches and cathedrals in Europe. A “happy” color, it is one of very few, in my opinion, which looks equally great on absolutely everyone: blondes, brunettes, salt-and-peppers, and redheads!