Saturday, March 3, 2012

March Birthstone - Aquamarine - by The Silver Bear


Aquamarine, whose name is taken from the Greek for “sea water”, is the blue to greenish-blue variety of Beryl, a Beryllium Aluminium Silicate.
Beryl occurs in six colours, the others being green Emerald, pink Morganite, yellow Heliodor, colourless Goshenite and the very rare red Bixbite.



The primary sources of gem quality Aquamarine are Minas Gerais in Brazil, northern Pakistan,
the Ural mountains in Russia, Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.



It most commonly occurs in granitic pegmatites, but is also found in mica schists and limestone.
Aquamarine frequently occurs as very large crystals, but these are seldom of gem quality. The largest Aquamarine of cuttable quality was found in 1910 in Minas Gerais. It weighed 243 lb.







Technical Data
Chemical Formula:       Be3Al2Si6O18
Crystal System:           Hexagonal
Hardness:                   7.5 – 8 (between Quartz and Topaz)
Specific Gravity:         2.72
Refractive Index:         1.577 – 1.583
Diaphaneity:                Transparent to Opaque
Lustre:                         Vitreous





Aquamarine is sometimes heat treated to remove unwanted greenish overtones in a stone, particularly for the American market.

The cheaper blue Topaz is occasionally substituted for Aquamarine, although a trained eye can easily tell the difference between the two stones.

Synthetic Aquamarine is being produced in Russian laboratories by the hydrothermal method, although it has not yet become prevalent on the market. Simulants are seldom encountered, as Aquamarine is not an easy stone to simulate. 









16 comments :

Erika Price said...

Fantastic informative article, thank you so much Bearsie!

Michele said...

Nice post about aquamarine my birthstone :)!!! I'll take the 243lb one :)!!!

DG Jewelry Designs said...

Augie, great post and information. Thank you.

MadeByTammy said...

Fantastic post and jewelry / findings! Thanks for sharing.

SendingLoveGallery said...

wonderful info! one of my favorites, and my birthstone too :D

LoveStoneArts said...

Thanks so much for sharing your expertise. As a kid who asked for rocks, hammers and cold chisels for every birthday I just eat this up!!

Brooke said...

I always love to learn more about gemstones, thanks for the great article, and sharing such gorgeous examples.

Beadsme said...

Wonderful post Bearsie.

The Crazier Sister said...

I'm enjoying learning about gemstones and their differences. Thank you for the easy to follow information!

capitalcitycrafts said...

Thanks for the great info, I just love this stone!

Your Daily Jewels said...

Thank you Bearsie,
Such a treat to learn about one of my favorite gemstones from one of my favorite people!

willowcreekjewelry said...

Fantastic info, thank you for sharing Augie!Your shop is full of gorgeous gems = )

Blanche said...

Thanks, reminds me to relist my one aquamarine piece!

Ribasus said...

I love aquamarine. Great, informative article! I have an aquamarine crystal that was given to me by the active owner of a mine in the Hindu Kush mountains in Northern Pakistan. It is quite the specimen and over 1 inch across and pretty long. I should take a pic for you, Bearsie. It has this interesting formation on the crystal face which looks like tiny, needle thin holes all to the same depth.

allen said...

that article is great...i like that article so much....i love the aquamarine stone..because they have beautiful color..thanks

jemsbyjb said...

Lovely stone and a great article.