Aquamarine - Safety at Sea

By: Nigel Makin

The Aquamarine Gemstone is a variety of the mineral Beryl and is a beautiful pastel blue in colour. Aquamarine is the Birthstone for the month of March and is mined in Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique Myanmar and Afghanistan; it is also available within the United States of America and is the official state Gemstone of Colorado. The Gemstone gets it's blue, sea green colouring from impurities of iron, and the host rock is pegmatite and coarse grained granite and their weathered material.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, sea green was the preferred colour but now darker blues are much more desirable and command a higher price. Aquamarine is dichroic, which means the intensity of the colour changes depending on the angle it is viewed from, so the Gemstone is usually cut according to the best colour angle and not the biggest size.
To intensify the gems blue colouring it is usually cut in either the step or Emerald cuts.
Aquamarine also has a much better clarity than the Emerald, it has fewer inclusions and cracks meaning there is less internal stress on the stone, meaning it is a lot less brittle than it's green cousin. Because the jewel has less flaws than the more expensive Emerald, it is much easier to find clean stones at larger sizes.

The largest Aquamarine ever found of Gemstone quality was unearthed in Marambaya, Minas Gerais in Brazil nearly 100 years ago in 1910. The stone weighed 110.5 kg, was 48.5cm long and 42cm in diameter, it was cut into many stones and boasted a total weight of over 100,000 carats. Paler and inferior stones are usually heat treated to increase the gems to a more desirable blue, cloudy and nearly opaque gems do exist and these are usually cut into beads and cabochons, where they can on occasions produce a cat's eye effect.

Legends say that the Aquamarine Gemstone is the treasure of mermaids and that it has the power to keep sailors safe at sea. The stone was used in the creation of amulets that were worn by ancient sailors to render them fearless and protect them from the wrath of the oceans, these amulets were deemed to possess even greater power if they were engraved with the Poseidon chariot. Aquamarine is also believed to be a strong talisman if it is immersed in water. The blue Beryl Gemstone is also believed to promote friendship and harmony as well as blessing the wearer with courage and happiness, it is also the Gemstone for the sixteenth and nineteenth wedding anniversaries as it creates a strong bond between couples.
Aquamarine also helps in understanding difficult situations from a love filled viewpoint, is also the universal symbol of youth, hope and health which just increases the stones popularity even more.

Aquamarine looks at it's beautiful best when the stones are able to show their clarity with a generous light source and good quality stones should be free of any inclusions.
Aquamarine is quite hard at 7.5-8 on the Moh scale, making them absolutely ideal for use in Gemstone Jewelry. It is very easy to see why so many ladies love Aquamarine Jewelry, blue is a natural colour like the sea and the sky, it is also a feel good and happy colour, but the real stunning beauty of this Gemstone is that it looks good on anyone.

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