Aquamarine Properties & Characteristics

A Gorgeous Aquamarine Gemtone Ring. A Gorgeous Aquamarine Gemtone Ring. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

 

Aquamarine is a gorgeous gemstone. It ranges in color from the pale blue you see above, to deep sea blue, to blue-green and green-blue. Found in many locations around the world, it is a fairly abundant semi-precious stone. As such, aquamarine jewelry can come with very large, eye-clean stones that shimmer brilliantly with a durability that withstands everyday wear.

Aquamarine Chemical Properties

Aquamarine, like its cousin emerald, belongs to the beryl family. Beryl in its pure state grows as a colorless crystal. Beryl begins with a solution of beryllium, aluminum, and silica. Sometimes traces of other minerals mix into the solution, as well.

In the case of emeralds, vanadium and/or chromium mix in, resulting in the rich green color. Aquamarines, on the other hand, form when trace amounts of iron leach into the solution. The more iron, the richer the color.

Unlike its cousin emerald, aquamarine generally grows with very few inclusions. Therefore, large specimens often result in excellent clarity and transparency.

When you purchase an aquamarine, your first concern in terms of value and quality is color. The deeper the color, the higher the value. Second to color is transparency. The fewer inclusions, the higher the value.

 

History of Aquamarine

The use of aquamarine in human society dates back as far as 480 BCE. The ancient Greeks carved amulets out of this mesmerizing gemstone. The beautiful blue stone soon became associated with the sea. In fact, its name is derived from the Latin words for sea (mare) and water (aqua).

A revival of the gemstone came in the early 1700s, with the discovery of aquamarine in Siberia, in the Adun-Chalon mountains. Quite possibly aquamarines surfaced earlier in Minas Gerais, a state in Brazil.

In addition to featuring some of the largest rivers and highest mountain peaks in Brazil, Minas Gerais (which translates to "General Mines") also contains several large gemstone mines. Large deposits of emeralds, topazes, and aquamarines supplied the world in these gemstones for many decades.

Aquamarines continue to come out of Brazil, though other sources emerged in the last several decades. Perhaps the most important to date, the mines in Karur, India stand out as a top supplier in aquamarines. Aquamarines are also found in China, Madagascar, Russia, Mozambique, and the USA.

Arguably the most desirable of all aquamarine hues is the Santa Maria. Santa Maria aquamarines come in a bright blue color. These gorgeous stones take their name from the Santa Maria region in Brazil, the only place to find them. Other popular types of aquamarine include Martha Rocha and Espirito Santo, both of which also come from Brazil.

 

At EraGem we treasure March's birthstone, aquamarine. Give us a call today to make an appointment to see our extensive collection of beautiful aquamarine jewelry.