The Gemstone Aquamarine

What Is Aquamarine

This is one of the most popular gemstones throughout the ages and has been known since ancient times. The name comes from the Latin expression “aqua marina” meaning “water of the sea”. Already in 1609 the specific name “Aquamarine” was used in a gemological work.

The color can vary from light, almost colorless, blue or blue-green to quite deep color. Most Aquamarine Opal gemstones are heat treated in order to deepen the color. Some stones are also treated with irradiation. These treatments are commonly approved as they alter the stone permanently and is seen as a continuation of the process that formed the stones in the nature. The stones are usually without much flaws and are very clean and transparent.

How Is Aquamarine Formed

Like most other gemstones, Aquamarine is formed in cavities within rocks. The process begins way beyond the surface of the Earth and through the pressure bringing magma to the surface, rocks are formed when the magma cools down. The rocks formed in this way are often not completely solid but have cavities within.

Crystallization of silica, either from the rock itself, or from liquid intrusions through cracks in the rock, builds up in the cavity. Depending on the material included when crystals are formed, various colors and other specifics are producing various types of gemstones. In order for the particular shades of color of Aquamarine, certain types of iron ions must be present.

Where Can It Be Found

Aquamarine is a fairly common gemstone and deposits can be found all around the world like in Australia, China, India, Ireland, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, USA, Zambia, Zimbabwe and many other places.

The most significant finds come from Brazil where there are many mines, most significantly in the state of Minas Gerais, northwest of Rio de Janeiro, which produces about 80 per cent of all Brazilian gemstones.
The area is so rich on gemstones that they can be found almost anywhere in the state.

An Aquamarine stone weighing 520,000 carats was found in Brazil as early as 1910. The stone was cut into smaller finished gemstones weighing in at about 200,000 carats in total.

What Is The Value Of Aquamarine

As the stone is not very rare, the prices are lower than the most precious stones like Diamonds, Emeralds, Rubies, Sapphires and Alexandrites. The value follows, to some extent, the deepness of the blue color. A nice blue tone can cost in excess of 5 times more per carat as compared to a pale blue stone.

But also size plays a part concerning price per carat. The largest stone cut is weighing 10,363 carats and is estimated to have a value of US $10 million, which is in the range of US $1,000 per carat, or much higher than the carat price for a smaller stone.

When buying an Aquamarine gemstone be aware that there are traders out there trying to pass a blue Topaz for an Aquamarine. Topaz is generally less expensive than Aquamarine.

Metaphysical properties

Aquamarine has been around since ancient times and therefore the number of believed properties with regards to supernatural forces and healing abilities are plentiful. As usual, religious groups, which are based on beliefs, have given various different powers to the gemstone.

In recent history the popularity of esoteric movements have also given various gemstones a revival with regards to the powers it possesses.