The name of these beautiful gemstones with hues of light blues to blue-greens, was aptly derived from the Latin language and means “water of the sea”.

Being a relatively common gemstone, the Aquamarine is more affordable than some gemstones.  This is good news as it is extremely pretty and has coloring that suits most skin tones well.   However, to the untrained eye an Aquamarine can look very similar to a Blue Topaz, which is usually less expensive than an Aquamarine of comparable quality.  It is therefore important to buy an Aquamarine from a reputable source to ensure that you are buying an Aquamarine and not a Blue Topaz.

Aquamarine Quality

Aquamarines are a fairly robust gemstone to wear on a daily basis.  Their level of hardness is rated a 7.5 – 8.0 on the Moh’s scale, which is good when compared to the hardest gemstone, the Diamond that has a hardness value of 10.0.  

The best quality natural Aquamarines are transparent and translucent with hues varying from a very pale blue to a deeper blue found with the rarer gems.  Although Aquamarines with a blue-green or blue-gray appearance are generally not considered to be the best, there are many people who prefer gemstones with a greener hue as they remind them more of the sea.  

These days, many natural gemstones are heat treated to improve their colour.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, since perfect color aquamarines have a rarity value and are therefore more expensive.  Therefore, by choosing a heat treated gemstone you can buy a beautiful color ring at a lower price than you would have to pay if you were buying a rare one.  

If your budget is really tight then there is always the option of buying a lab produced gemstone.  However, my preferred option if you need to save money is to opt for a good quality natural Aquamarine set in a less expensive metal, such as Sterling Silver.  Gemvara has an excellent range of high quality natural Aquamarine rings where you can customize your chosen design to  Sterling Silver online. 

A well cut Aquamarine gemstone will show its depth of color and beautiful light reflecting qualities. When buying an Aquamarine ring, look for a gemstone that catches the light and sparkles from all its facets.

How Aquamarines are formed

Natural aquamarines are found in indigenous rocks.  These are the oldest rocks known – the name indigenous coming from the latin word for fire.  Millions of years ago, volcanic eruptions brought hot mineral rich magma up towards the surface of the earth where it became trapped in cavities and formed into crystals when it started to cool.  Aquamarines are one of the many types of natural crystals that were formed in this way.  

The natural gemstones vary in size due to the rate at which the cooling of the mineral rich magma took place.  For example, where the cooling process was slower, larger crystals will have been formed.  

Where Aquamarines are found

Aquamarines are found in many parts of the world, with Sri Lanka being particularly well known for its gemstones. Aquamarines have also been discovered in Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia, Siberia, the USA and Zambia. 

Gemorphology equipment is used to identify where gemstones are likely to be found and mining techniques vary considerably, depending on how near the surface the gemstones are.  The least invasive form of mining is open cast or surface mining, where the metamorphic rocks containing aquamarines and other gemstones are not far below.  In these conditions, simple processes using pneumatic drills, air or gas pressure and hand tools may be all that is needed to release the aquamarines. However, where the gemstones are trapped deep down in rocks then other forms of mining, such as open pit mining, quarrying and underground mining may be required.

A natural Aquamarine is a beautiful part of the ancient past and one to be treasured forever.    



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