Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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Department of Mineral Sciences

Carmen LĂșcia Ruby

Gem Gallery - Aquamarine Ring

Aquamarine Ring
Photography by Ken Larsen. Gift of Mrs. Samantha Stevens, 1992.

The mineral beryl has many beautiful gem varieties. Emerald is the rich green variety and the most valuable beryl gem. It gets its color from impurities of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Aquamarine, as the name suggests, exhibits the color of the sea: rich blue to blue-green. Deep blue is the most highly prized color. Aquamarine gets its blue hue from impurities of iron. Heliodore, or yellow beryl, gets its golden glow from impurities of iron. And morganite, or pink beryl, gets its delicate hue from impurities of manganese and ranges in color from pink or rose to peach.

This ring has a very large 52 carat aquamarine of amazing blue color. It is set in a most unusual and unique yellow gold mounting; the prongs "float" up over the corners of the gem in a ribbon-like motif. Accenting the central aquamarine are round brilliant cut diamonds that are bead set in to these "ribbon" prongs. The date of the ring is unknown, but it appears to be a custom made, one-of-kind piece. The ring is a "treasure from the vault" at the Museum. It was donated to the Smithsonian by Mrs. Samantha Stevens in 1992.

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