Santo Domingo Aquamarine are stunning, bright blue gemstones from the Santo Domingo Ranch in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, a country noted for yielding fine Aquamarines. Plagued by sporadic limited production, Santo Domingo Aquamarine is a gem most people immediately find attractive, which along with its rarity, makes Santo Domingo Aquamarine highly coveted.
Hardness 7.5 – 8
Refractive Index 1.562 – 1.602
Relative Density 2.71 – 2.90
Related to Emerald and Morganite, Santo Domingo Aquamarine is named for its Brazilian locale. One hundred percent natural and the one of the world’s finest Aquamarine colors, Santo Domingo Aquamarines are pure bright blue, with a pastel to medium tone and saturation that is not too dark or too light. While Aquamarines’ quintessential ‘classic’ pastel blues are the norm for this gemstone, Santo Domingo Aquamarines’ greater tone and saturation is indicative of a fine quality that is extremely valued and collectable.
As color is the most important consideration for Aquamarine, expert lapidary that accentuates color is critical. Santo Domingo Aquamarine displays a desirable even color, good brilliance, eye-clean clarity (the highest clarity quality grade for colored gemstones) and excellent scintillation (play of light).
Coined by the Romans over 2,000 years ago, Aquamarine literally means ‘water of the sea’ in Latin, from the words ‘aqua’ (water) and ‘marina’ (sea). March’s birthstone, Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl mineral family (from the ancient Greek ‘beryllos’, meaning blue-green stone), commonly known as the ‘mother of gemstones’ because of its highly regarded gem varieties. Pure Beryl is colorless and trace amounts of elements are responsible for producing Beryl’s wonderful colors. Apart from Aquamarine blues, other Beryl gemstones include, Bixbite reds, Emerald greens, Golden Beryl yellows, Goshenite whites (colorless), Heliodor greenish-yellows, and Morganite pinks.
Ranging in color from pastel to intense deep blues, sometimes with splashes of green, Aquamarine is colored by trace amounts of iron. Prior to Aquamarine’s modern African discoveries (circa 1830), Brazil and Russia produced the finest quality, and Brazil continues to be a major supplier today.
Santo Domingo Aquamarine is from the Santo Domingo Ranch just outside the town of Governador Valadares in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. It is primarily a cattle ranch with around 600 head of cattle. The locale is actually very close to two famous mines/deposits: the Ipê Mine and the Golconda mines. The ranch was purchased in 1972 by Moises Diniz, grandfather of famed gem professional, Tony Diniz. In the gem business for almost 20 years, Tony cites his grandfather as one of his greatest influences for entering the profession. During walks on the ranch with his grandson, Moises would tell young Tony how the land had once yielded Aquamarine while they mined for mica during WW2 and a legend that Aquamarine could still be found on the ranch in the place where the jaguars’ tale met the water. Today, they have been mining the ranch for 10 years with limited success; all short production runs, they have never found the ‘big’ pocket of Aquamarine.
Durability & Care
Santo Domingo Aquamarine (Mohs’ Hardness: 7.5 – 8) is an excellent choice for everyday jewelry. Always store Santo Domingo Aquamarine carefully to avoid scuffs and scratches. Clean with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth.