Joan Crawford. Leonard Joel Auctions Fine Jewels
Joan Crawford wearing her Boucheron Aquamarine and Diamond Parure / Alamy

Known as ‘the sailor’s gem’ by the ancient Greeks who carried it on voyages to protect from the perils of ocean travel and valued by the Romans who believed that a frog carved from the stone could turn enemies into friends, aquamarine has attracted jewellery designers and collectors for centuries. It is found in a range of hues from pale blue and blue/green to an intense ocean blue (aquamarine of course being Latin for “sea water”) and can be cut into any shape. Wonderfully clear examples are obtainable in large sizes, allowing for the most flamboyant flights of fantasy.  

Through history, aquamarine has adorned many a Hollywood actress, socialite, and royal. It was the favourite stone of actress Joan Crawford, who owned a spectacular Boucheron aquamarine and diamond parure, later purchased by Andy Warhol. 

Aquamarine2
Platinum, Aquamarine And Diamond Ring, Early 20th Century, $10,000-12,000, March Fine Jewels & Timepieces

Another legendary collector was Linda Lee Thomas, wife of composer Cole Porter, who treasured an aquamarine and ruby ‘Belt Buckle’ necklace designed in 1935 by Fulco
di Verdura. Now in the collection of actress Jennifer Tilly, it is among the most important examples of modern American jewellery. 

Her Majesty the Queen also loves her aquamarines and often wears a pair of Boucheron clips given to her by her parents in 1944 to celebrate her 18th birthday. 

TROY MCKENZIE / Queensland Representative Specialist 

Banner Image: Pair of Aquamarine and Diamond Pendant Earrings, together weighing approximately 32.33 carats and 2.90 carats respectively. Sold for $50,000

February 2022