CARE OF YOUR AQUAMARINE GEM STONE

Aquamarine is a fairly hardy gemstone and unlike many other colored gems it is usually safe to clean them in an ultrasonic cleaner or a steam-cleaner as long as there are no liquid inclusions or feathers contained in the stone. Aquamarines are also very stable to light, contrary to widespread belief that they fade in sunlight.. This reputation is unfairly gleaned from a close cousin of Aquamarine - Maxixe beryl whose color does fade in daylight. Do not use hydrofluoric acid anywhere near your aquamarine as it is very sensitive to this acid type.

MORE GEMOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF AQUAMARINE GEM STONES

GEM SPECIES : BERYL

REFRACTIVE INDEX : 1.58

HARDNESS (MOHS SCALE) : 7.5 TO 8

TOUGHNESS : GOOD

CAUSE OF COLOR : IRON

STABILITY TO LIGHT : STABLE

BIRTHSTONE : MARCH, PISCES


Aquamarine Oceanic Reflections

One of the most popular gemstone minerals, Aquamarine is a highly sought after gem and the birthstone for March. Its name means "seawater" in Latin. A name truly deserved, as the beautiful blue-green color of this spectacular gem is indeed strongly reminiscent of the ocean. When cut, it gives the wonderful light effect of the sun on the waves, almost as if it were alive. It has also been referred to as nature's timeless ice.

It was prized by mariners as protection against the wrath of the sea, and it is revered in myth as the preserver of innocence and purity. Aquamarine is a variety of Beryl - the same species as Emerald. Green beryl is Emerald and is colored by Chromium whilst blue beryl is Aquamarine and is colored by iron. Kenya has some excellent Aquamarine deposits, yielding a beautiful, lively blue color. Brazil is another large producer of Aquamarine.

The first documented use of aquamarine is by the Greeks between 480 and 300 B.C. Amulets of aquamarine were thought to render sailors fearless and protect them from adversaries as sea, especially if the stone was engraved with Poseidon on a chariot. The largest aquamarine of cuttable quality was found in 1910 in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It weighed 243 lb./110.5 kg., and was cut into many stones. There have also been finds weighing several tons, but the aquamarine was gray and opaque, not suitable for jewelry.

See our Private Aquamarine Gem Stone Collection!

BUY FINE AQUAMARINE GEM STONES AND BROWSE OUR PRIVATE AQUAMARINE COLLECTION

GEM PROPERTIES OF AQUAMARINE GEM STONES

The stone should be clean under a 10-power loupe. At best it should be a bright sky blue, though some people like a little greenishness, which shows that it is an untreated stone, and gives it a rich, antique feeling. The lesser stones are those which appear very watery and colorless. Aquamarines with intense color are becoming very scarce. Lower quality stones-- greenish yellow, greenish and even brownish beryls-- are heated to 752F/ 400C to change them to the desired aquamarine blue. The color change is permanent and this treatment is considered an accepted treatment with the majority of Aquamarine heated worldwide.

Lapigems Gem Company owned and operated a very successful mine in the 1980's in the Meru area of Kenya which produced some of the world's best Aquamarine for a time (See our History Timeline). We also encountered some very large specimens of Aquamarine in the region of several kilograms but it was not of gem quality. The majority of the gem quality pieces were in the 2 carat and below range. See our Private Aquamarine Collection.



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