Grading

AIGS Launches Grading Report for ‘Santa Maria’ Aquamarine

GradingJun 23, 2022

AIGS Launches Grading Report for ‘Santa Maria’ Aquamarine

The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences aims to set a color standard for the trade name.

According to AIGS, these aquamarine stones are the typical color of those labeled “Santa Maria” (Image courtesy AIGS)
Bangkok—Following its launch of grading reports for “jedi” spinel, the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS) has done the same for a specific aquamarine trade name.

The institute has rolled out a color code for the “Santa Maria” label as well as grading reports.

“Santa Maria” originated from the color of aquamarine that came from the Santa Maria de Itabira mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The mine produced aquamarine considered to be among the best in terms of color—a saturated blue—but is now almost depleted.

Some in the trade now refer to stones with such color as “Santa Maria,” regardless of their origin.

To define which stones should receive such a label, AIGS created a “Santa Maria” color code, which defines according to color—hue, saturation, and tone—and even clarity. It does not define by geographic origin.

See: The AIGS “Santa Maria” Report and Color Code 

The Institute said its color code applies the name “Santa Maria” to the aquamarine variety of beryl that has blue color and medium saturation without brown or yellow tints. 

Those with low saturation, low clarity, and dark tones do not meet the criteria to be called Santa Maria, it added. Neither does aquamarine with low clarity. 

For those that do have all the right criteria, AIGS will indicate the stone qualifies as a “Santa Maria” type of aquamarine in its gemstone identification reports. 

“The launch of the Santa Maria color code is yet another important initiative after launching our Jedi spinel reports last October,” said Kennedy Ho, Chairman of AIGS.

“Trade names such as pigeon blood and royal blue have been used for centuries by gem traders to describe ideal colors implying value and rarity. Yet these trade names are often ambiguous with definitions varying between buyers and sellers alike. By transforming trade names into an industry standard through reports graded by third-party objectivity, AIGS aims to reduce such ambiguity.” 

 Related stories will be right here … 
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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