All About Aquamarine
The serenely colored aquamarine invokes the tranquility of its namesake, the sea. In fact, the name aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green; the color usually is more intense in larger stones, and darker blue stones are very valuable.
Like emeralds, this gemstone is actually a variety of a mineral called beryl. Large stones have been found all over the world, including one stone found in Brazil that weighed over 240 pounds. Aquamarine grows in large, six-sided crystals that can be up to a foot long, making it a great gem to be cut and polished in larger carats for statement pieces.
Not only is aquamarine one of the March birthstones, it’s also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries. It’s a beautiful stone with little or no yellow in it, so it looks great in many settings with different colored metals and gemstones. March’s birthstone was also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages.
The best gems combine high clarity with limpid transparency and blue to slightly greenish blue hues. Like many beryls, aquamarine forms large crystals suitable for sizable fashioned gems and carvings.
How to select your aquamarine ?
Color: ranges from an almost indiscernible pale blue to a strong sea-blue. The more intense the color of an Aquamarine the more valuable it is. Some Aquamarines have a light green shimmer to them this is ok but most people prefer the pure clear blues.
Clarity: Unlike their famous cousin the Emerald, Aquamarines have very few inclusions. Most small Aquamarines, 1 carat or less should have very little or no inclusions or flaws at all. Larger gem many have a few more. A heavily included Aquamarine should be passed by.
Cut: Aquamarines come in an amazing array of shapes and sizes. They are easier to cut then other gems and can also be carve. Look for vary clean line in the faceting.
Carat weight: Aquamarines are plentiful and can be found easily is sizes up to 5 carast, larger sizes are available but you will pay a premium for gems above 5 carats.
Where could you find aquamarine ?
1. The Best: The Santa Maria de Itabira mine in Brazil, has rare, intense blue aquamarines
2. Good: Russia from the Ural mountains. Africa, particularly Mozambique called 'Santa Maria Africana'. The 'Espirito Santo' Fortaleza and Marambaia in Brazil and The United States.
3. Fair: India, Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Afghanistan and Pakistan
Facts about aquamarine
VARIETY OF: Beryl , Be3 Al2 Si6 O18
INDEX OF REFRACTION: 1.57 - 1.60
BIREFRINGENCE: 0.004 - 0.008
HARDNESS: 7.5 - 8
CRYSTAL SYSTEM: hexagonal