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Aquamarine

Named after seawater, aquamarine’s fresh watery hue is a cool plunge into a refreshing pool.

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Emerald Cut

This 3.36-ct. gem is an emerald cut, which is typical for aquamarine.

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Sea Blue

Aquamarine’s most valuable color is a dark blue to slightly greenish blue.

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High Clarity

Like all fine aquamarines, this gem is free of eye-visible inclusions.

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Mineral Specimen

This fine 3x3x7 cm aquamarine mineral specimen is from Balistan, Pakistan

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Columnar Form

The crystal shows aquamarine’s typical six-sided columnar form.

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Pencil Point

A collector might call this crystal a “pencil” due to the faces at its tip.

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Tools

Overview

About Aquamarine

Aquamarine’s name comes from the Latin for seawater and it was said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. 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.

Aquamarine Description Aquamarine History and Lore Aquamarine Journey

Birthstones & Anniversaries

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and the gem of the 19th wedding anniversary.

110 Kilos

The largest gem-quality aquamarine crystal mined to date is 19 inches long.


Beryl

Like emerald, aquamarine is a color variety of the mineral beryl.


15,000 feet

Aquamarine is mined at high elevations in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains.


Facts

  • Mineral: beryl
  • Chemistry: Be3Al2Si6O18
  • Color: greenish blue, light in tone
  • Refractive index: 1.577 to 1.583
  • Birefringence: 0.005 to 0.009
  • Specific gravity: 2.72
  • Mohs Hardness: 7.5 to 8.0

Where It's Found

map

Treatments

There are a number of processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or improve the durability of gems.

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Synthetics

Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.

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Imitations

Any gem can be imitated—sometimes by manmade materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.

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Why We Love This Gemstone

1
Beautiful Crystals

Aquamarine grows in beautiful six-sided prismatic crystals that on rare occasions can be more than a foot long.

2
Transparency

Faceted aquamarine is often exceptionally transparent with vitreous luster,
so it really sparkles.

3
Dichroic

Using a dichroscope, you can see aquamarine is near colorless and stronger blue in different crystal directions.

Quality Factors

Assessment of the following characteristics determines aquamarine’s value.

Color

quality factors

Aquamarine’s preferred color is a moderately strong dark blue to slightly greenish blue.

Clarity

quality factors

Most cut gems are eye-clean. Large examples are available without visible inclusions.

Cut

quality factors

Because aquamarine’s color is light, cutting is important and well-cut gems show brilliance.

Carat Weight

quality factors

Aquamarine crystals range from tiny to very large—some even up to 100 lbs.

Aquamarine Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide

Research

Explore sources, gemological research, and the role of aquamarine in history.

Aquamarine from the Thuong Xuan District, Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam

Le Thi-Thu Huong, et al. Read Article

Polymer-Filled Aquamarine

Li Jianjun, Sun Yuan, Hao Wangjiao, Luo Han, Cheng Youfa, Liu Huafeng, Liu Ying, Ye Hong, and Fan Chengxing Read Article

Aquamarine, Maxixe-Type Beryl, and Hydrothermal Synthetic Blue Beryl: Analysis and Identification

Ilaria Adamo, et al. , Oct 31, 2008 Read Article

Gem-Bearing Pegmatites: A Review

James E. Shigley and Anthony R. Kamp , Jun 1, 1984 Read Article