Aquamarine is a variety of the mineral beryl with a distinctive blue color.
Color: pale blue, sky blue, greenish blue
Hardness: 7.5 to 8
Density: 2.67 to 2.71
Aquamarine, along with the emerald and noble beryl, is a mineral of the beryl group. It takes its name from the Latin aqua marina, meaning sea water, for its color. This stone has always been regarded as a lucky charm for sailors. The most valuable are stones of sky-blue color. The intensity of the coloring increases when the crystal is heated above 400 degrees Celsius. Aquamarine is fragile and easy to crush. The coloring is usually evenly balanced: Aquamarines are much more transparent than the emeralds.
Iron serves as the chromophore here. The most characteristic feature is the thin hollow tubules that give rise to silvery-white light effects. When the stone polished in a cabochon is full of such grooves, one can observe the "cat's eye" effect or the asterism in the form of the six-rayed star. The presence of different impurity elements causes variations in the physical properties.
Aquamarine deposits are found on every continent, the most important of which are in Brazil (Minas Gerais, Bahia, Espirito Santo). Aquamarines are obtained from pegmatites, which are often found in coarse-grained granites. On Madagascar numerous deposits of aquamarines are found in the inner highlands. In Russia the deposits of aquamarine are known in the Ural and Transbaikal.
The classic cut for an aquamarine is the oval cut with 57 facets and the rectangular baguette with 33 facets. Translucent or opaque stones and stones with a cat's eye effect are given a cabochon cut.
Synthetic aquamarines are scarce on the market; most often, they are imitated with blue-colored synthetic quartz (trade name: perunite). Aquamarines are refined by heat treatment (annealing) to improve their color.
From history: the most unusual finds
An unusual deep sapphire-blue color of aquamarines was found in 1917 in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in the Maxix mine and were called "aquamarines-maxix". However, the color of the crystals was unstable: in the daylight, they discolored or became yellow or reddish-brown. It has been suggested that this is caused by natural irradiation of the crystals. "Maxix" contains traces of copper; it is characterized by increased alkali content.
Some of the aquamarine crystals have reached the record size. For example, the Polish king Stanislav's scepter, 30 cm long, was carved from the whole stone and is now kept in the Kremlin Armory. In the St. Petersburg Mining Institute's museum, there is a 125 cm long aquamarine crystal. The crown of the kings of England has a processed Indian aquamarine weighing a little less than 200 g.
One of the largest aquamarine crystals in the world was discovered in 1910 in the Marambani deposit near the Mucuri River in Brazil. The pegmatite vein at a depth of 5 m contained a beautiful transparent hexagonal stone 48.3 cm long and 41 cm across. Its weight is 110.2 kg. In the central part, its color is blue, turning light green at the edges, and in the transition zone with a yellowish hue.
In Brazil, in addition to the aforementioned, there are such large aquamarines as "Martha Roja" weighing 34 kilograms and crystals of 22.3, 22, 10 and 5.3 kilograms.
Other interesting faceted aquamarines include a 900-carat stone from India and a brilliant-cut stone of 10,363 carats found in Brazil.
Deposits and extraction
Deposits of aquamarines are known throughout the world. The most important are in Brazil (Minas Gerais, Bahia, Espirito Santo). Aquamarines are mined from pegmatites, which are often found in coarse-grained granites. On Madagascar numerous deposits of aquamarine are confined to the inner highlands. In Russia, deposits are known in the Urals and Transbaikalia.
The most classical cut for an aquamarine is the "Oval" with 57 facets, and the "Baguette" with 33 facets. Translucent or opaque minerals, or cat's eye gems are given the cabochon cut.
Buying aquamarine jewelry
The kings and rulers of many countries wished to own a piece of jewelry with a translucent blue stone that resembles sea water. For example, Alexandra Fedorovna, the wife of Nicholas II, was a great admirer of aquamarines. Several large stones of the magnificent color adorned her precious tiara.
At skyjewelry.co you can buy gold earrings, ring, pendant or necklace with aquamarine.
How to identify a real aquamarine from a fake
Synthetic aquamarine is scarce on the market; most often it is imitated with blue-colored synthetic quartz (trade name: "perunite"). To improve the color, the aquamarines are ennobled by heat treatment (annealing).
Aquamarine is a stone that is exceptionally transparent. This allows its characteristic feature, the white inclusions, to be seen. They are called snowflakes and chrysanthemums. If under a magnifying glass you cannot see these "snowflakes," you should think about the authenticity of the specimen.
Imitations, such as glass, can be recognized by spherical shiny bubbles, which are distinguishable under a magnifying glass. In addition, the glass feels warm to the touch, unlike the natural specimen.
How can one identify if an aquamarine is natural or fake with certainty? The most reliable way is the gemological expertise.
Aquamarine in Astrology and its magical properties
There is no zodiac sign to which the aquamarine would be completely contraindicated, but the mineral has the best compatibility with Scorpio. Who is ideal for the stone by its properties, it is the representatives of the fiery element - Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Aquamarine will help them temper their impulsiveness and temper tantrums.
This variety of beryl is said to be the talisman of sailors and travelers, especially those who cross the water. The stone is believed to calm emotions and temper anger, to give the wearer good judgement and eloquence, and to give courage and protection against deception.