Home Aquamarine Buying Guide: Art Deco Aquamarine Jewelry

Buying Guide: Art Deco Aquamarine Jewelry

by Madonna

Aquamarine, with its mesmerizing blue hue, has long been a favorite among gem enthusiasts and collectors. Its name, derived from the Latin words for “water” and “sea,” perfectly captures the gem’s serene and captivating color. Art Deco aquamarine jewelry, which gained popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, is particularly sought after for its unique combination of artistic design and the stunning beauty of aquamarine. This guide will help you navigate the market for Art Deco aquamarine jewelry, ensuring you make an informed and satisfying purchase.

Understanding Art Deco Jewelry

Characteristics of Art Deco Jewelry

Art Deco jewelry is characterized by its bold geometric shapes, clean lines, and a focus on symmetry. This style emerged in the early 20th century, influenced by the rapid technological advancements and cultural shifts of the time. Jewelry from this era often features intricate patterns, contrasting colors, and a mix of precious and semi-precious stones.


Historical Context and Influence

The Art Deco movement drew inspiration from various sources, including Cubism, Futurism, and ancient Egyptian and Aztec cultures. This eclectic blend of influences resulted in jewelry pieces that are both timeless and distinctive, making them highly collectible today.


Why Choose Aquamarine?

The Allure of Aquamarine

Aquamarine’s light blue to blue-green color evokes a sense of tranquility and calmness. This gemstone is a variety of beryl, similar to emerald, but its clarity and pastel shades make it particularly appealing. Historically, aquamarine was believed to be the treasure of mermaids and was used by sailors as a talisman for good luck and protection.


Durability and Wearability

With a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, aquamarine is durable enough for everyday wear, making it an excellent choice for jewelry. Its resistance to scratches and relatively easy maintenance add to its desirability.

Identifying Authentic Art Deco Aquamarine Jewelry

Hallmarks and Signatures

One of the first steps in verifying the authenticity of Art Deco aquamarine jewelry is to look for hallmarks and maker’s marks. These stamps can indicate the origin, metal content, and sometimes the designer or manufacturer. Common hallmarks include the karat weight of the gold (e.g., 14K or 18K) or the purity of platinum.

Design Elements

Genuine Art Deco pieces often feature detailed craftsmanship with an emphasis on geometric patterns. Look for characteristics such as stepped designs, chevrons, and sunburst motifs. The metalwork should be precise and symmetrical, showcasing the high level of artistry from that era.

Stone Quality and Setting

Examine the aquamarine for its color, clarity, and cut. High-quality Art Deco pieces will have aquamarines that are well-cut, with a consistent color and minimal inclusions. The settings should securely hold the stones, with intricate filigree or milgrain details often present.

Evaluating the Value of Art Deco Aquamarine Jewelry

Factors Influencing Value

Several factors influence the value of Art Deco aquamarine jewelry, including the gemstone’s quality, the craftsmanship, the rarity of the design, and the piece’s condition. Provenance, or the history of the piece, can also add significant value, especially if it has a documented connection to a notable person or event.

Comparing Prices

When assessing the price of Art Deco aquamarine jewelry, compare similar pieces from reputable dealers and auction houses. Be cautious of prices that seem too good to be true, as they may indicate reproductions or lower-quality items.

Authentication and Appraisal

Before making a purchase, consider having the jewelry authenticated and appraised by a certified gemologist. An appraisal provides a detailed description of the piece, including the gemstone quality, metal content, and overall condition, helping you make an informed decision.

Where to Buy Art Deco Aquamarine Jewelry

Reputable Jewelers and Antique Dealers

Established jewelers and antique dealers with a history of dealing in vintage jewelry are reliable sources for authentic Art Deco pieces. Look for sellers who provide detailed descriptions and provenance information for their items.

Online Marketplaces and Auctions

Online marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, and specialized vintage jewelry websites offer a wide range of Art Deco aquamarine jewelry. When buying online, carefully review seller ratings, return policies, and any available certifications or appraisals.

Estate Sales and Auctions

Estate sales and auctions can be treasure troves for vintage jewelry enthusiasts. Auctions, in particular, can offer competitive prices and the opportunity to acquire rare pieces. Attend previews and examine items closely, or participate in online auctions where high-resolution images and detailed descriptions are provided.

See Also: What is the World’s Best Aquamarine?

Caring for Your Art Deco Aquamarine Jewelry

Cleaning and Maintenance

Aquamarine jewelry should be cleaned regularly to maintain its brilliance. Use a mild soap and warm water solution, gently scrubbing with a soft brush. Avoid harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners, as these can damage both the gemstone and the metal setting.

Proper Storage

Store your aquamarine jewelry separately from other pieces to prevent scratches. Use soft pouches or lined jewelry boxes to protect the items. Avoid exposing the jewelry to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight for extended periods, as this can affect the gemstone’s color.

Regular Inspections

Have your Art Deco aquamarine jewelry inspected by a professional jeweler annually. Regular inspections ensure that the settings are secure, and any wear or damage is addressed promptly, preserving the piece’s integrity and value.


Art Deco aquamarine jewelry represents a unique blend of artistic design and natural beauty, making it a cherished addition to any collection. By understanding the characteristics of Art Deco jewelry, identifying authentic pieces, evaluating their value, and knowing where to buy and how to care for them, you can make a well-informed purchase. Whether you are a seasoned collector or a first-time buyer, the allure of aquamarine set in exquisite Art Deco designs is sure to captivate and delight.

Investing in Art Deco aquamarine jewelry is not only a testament to your appreciation for fine craftsmanship but also a way to own a piece of history that will continue to enchant for generations to come.


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