I couldn’t let March slip by without showing you this fantastic aquamarine. You should have heard the gasp in the room when we first saw this stunning piece. This is the world’s largest cut aquamarine from Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Dom Pedro, named after the first Emperor of Brazil, was fashioned from the largest gem quality aquamarine crystal ever found.
The gem quality aquamarine crystal was discovered about 20 years ago and came out of the mine in three pieces. The two smaller pieces got cut up into gemstones right away. The third and largest piece that was to become the Dom Pedro weighed nearly 60 lbs.
Renowned artist and gem cutter, Bernd Munsteiner of Germany was selected to cut the 60 lb. crystal. I was told that he spent 3 months studying the crystal and 6 months cutting it. It is said that for each initial saw cut to shape the crystal, $250,000 worth of fine aquamarine was lost in dust.
The amazing finished piece is nearly 14 inches tall and weighs 10,363 carats, or about 5 pounds. It is estimated to still have $5,000,000 -$6,000,000 worth of aquamarine in it.
You can see this and many other heart-stopping gems at our Nation’s Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. They are currently working on a new exhibit for the Dom Pedro that is expected to be on display sometime in Spring 2012.
Author: Michelle M. Rahm is a GIA-trained Graduate Gemologist and is President of Colorado’s Mile High Chapter of the GIA Alumni Association. She has been selling gemstones and jewelry online since 1997. Visit her websites JewelryImpressions.com and OurCustomWeddingRings.com