When Nicole Landaw was crafting her new aquamarine locket, she wanted the custom-cut stone—chosen for its luminosity—“to have depth, so that you might not be able to tell from the front that the pendant is actually a locket—that it could hold a secret treasure, because the dimension of the stone obscures the mechanism behind it,” she says of the piece, carried by August. “It’s really hard for me to find a piece that meets all my criteria, especially larger ones, so I make fewer pieces with aquas—which is fine as they are so special.”
That singularity is not lost on other jewel-savvy artisans, including Monika Krol, who incorporates the March birthstone (a greenish-blue to pale blue variation of the mineral beryl), into pieces for her namesake line, from a dainty pair of oval cabochon earrings to a chunky cabochon ring and a hinged bracelet set with a rectangular faceted stone (all available in store). “I love all the variations of aquamarine,” says the Pennsylvania-based designer of the stone, named after the Latin word for seawater.
“There is a dreamy softness to an opaque milky-blue aquamarine cabochon. A transparent aquamarine looks best faceted and sparkly with ripples of natural fractures within it,” says Kroll. “They can also tilt greenish, too,” notes Landaw, “which is a lovely, soft, inviting slightly mossy color that I fancy as well.”
For designers like Rosanne Pugliese, there’s more to the gem than it’s natural beauty. “I appreciate the idea that throughout history, aquas were given as a symbol of beauty, honesty and loyalty,” says the jeweler. While aquamarines are sourced everywhere from Zambia to Madagascar, Nigeria and Afghanistan, Pugliese finds herself drawn to ones from South America. “I am most inspired by the range of hues that are available from Brazil, from pale sky-blue to deep sea blue/greens,” adds Pugliese. That includes her best-loved find to date—“a “large, polished sphere of greenish/blue aquamarine from Brazil, featured in a necklace for August.”
And some stones are just too irresistible to part ways with. Just ask Krol, who is readying to add her first aquamarine piece to her own personal collection. “I have a sweet little, long-faceted oval Santa Maria Aquamarine from Brazil. I loved the long proportions of the oval shape and my mother’s name is Maria so I felt a bit of connection to it,” she says. “I haven’t decided for sure, but I think it will become a petite bangle.”