But the blue beryl variety, aquamarine, often boasts a clarity to flaunt. And its crystals, usually shaped in long tubular rough can get massive. Seems like the largest gemmy aquamarine rough found early in the 20th century weighed a whopping 243 pounds. We don't count other aquamarine deposits that weighed a 'few' tons, because those discoveries yielded opaque grayish crystals. Makes you wonder when they will find those behemoth treasures in a transparent sea foam blue. Things that make you go 'Um-m-m.'
Designers favor aquamarine for its almost endless incarnations. Semi-transparent aqua is cut en cabochon, or more lately, fashioned into chic jewelry with aqua in its original crystal shape for truly one-off designs. Some aquamarine appears with mysterious fine tubular inclusions, like hollow rods. These can on occasion allow a cat's eye effect to appear when cut if the tube-like inclusions are oriented in a particular way during cutting.
The finest aquamarine, collectors say, is a saturated darker blue, and of course very transparent. This quality aqua is often polished in some form of step cut--the ultimate showcase for flaunting very clean crystals.
Recently at auction with Christie's London came an extraordinarily superb aquamarine item. Not one stone, but a constellation of pristine aquamarines exquisitely matched to each other. This Belle Epoque (the Beautiful Era from late 19th century until World War I) aquamarine necklace circa 1905 with a clasp signed Koch, went to sale with a pre-auction estimate of between 25,000 and 35,000 British pounds. However, connoisseurs recognise when a good thing comes along. The hammer finally went down at 145,000 British pounds, or $209,886 to a very happy private Asian bidder at Christie's London very successful June auction.
Christie's Images Ltd, 2010