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Gemstones: Dom Pedro Aquamarine Crystal

This magnificent rough stone came from the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil and was named "Dom Pedro" after the two emperors of Brazil: Dom Pedro Primeiro and Dom Pedro Segundo. Weighing 24,875 grams, this blue variety of Beryl known as "Aqua Marina" or "Aquamarine" was 10,363 carats and 23 1/4 inches (59 cm) Tall. The largest aquamarine ever located was the 'Papamel Aquamarine' at 552,500 carats, found in 1910.

The "Dom Pedro" stone was cut by Bernd Munsteiner to create the sculpture "Waves of the Sea" (right) in 1993. This single Aquamarine gemstone sculpture is 13 13/16 inches (35 cm) tall.

Enlarge 1400 x 1400

Munsteiner Dom Pedro Aquamarine

Photo reprinted by permission (© Bernd Munsteiner, Reflections in Stone)

The Dom Pedro, and Bernd's other seminal work - the 214.3 pound rutilated quartz sculpture called "Metamorphosis," are rarities in the cut-gem realm. With the "Papamel," and all other significant roughs having been cut into hundreds of smaller stones, the Dom Pedro is the largest single piece of cut aquamarine in the world.

Such treasures are of the reach of most ardent collectors, but Metamorphosis, and many of Bernd's other major pieces have been purchased by Michael M. Scott, who was the first President of Apple Computer. The Michael Scott collection has been exhibited around the world, including at the Shanghai Museum, and recently at the Bowers Museum in Southern California.

Emeror Dom Pedro I, the Minas Gerais flag and Dom Pedro II

The proportions and shape that Bernd Munsteiner chose for his "Waves of the Sea" obelisk (above, right) bears a curious resemblance to the miner's lantern in the Minas Gerais logo (below, center).

Minas Gerais and Dom Pedro I & II

Brazil's principal aquamarine region begins about 75 miles north of Rio de Janeiro and includes the areas of Araçuaí, Conselheiro Pena, Governador Valadares, Jequitinhonha River basin, Pedra Azul, Salinas, and Teofilo Otoni. The town of Teofilo Otoni in Minas Gerais is a major Brazilian gem-trading center known for its aquamarine.

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