The sparkling, transparent blues of aquamarine have ensured the stones’ popularity with people for centuries. Aquamarine was named by the Romans about 2500 years ago, and derives its name from the Latin aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning sea; literally, Seawater.
The colour of aquamarine ranges from pale ice blue to mid bright blue, depending on the amount of iron in the crystal, and is in general a bright stone clear of inclusions. Aquamarine is said to bring good luck to sailors, and promotes calm and tranquillity, as well as youthful energy. Aquamarine is the birthstone for March.
Aquamarine is a variety of a gemstone known as beryl, of which emerald is another variety. Pure beryl is colourless and the aquamarine is coloured with trace elements of iron. When first mined, most aquamarine has a slight greenish tinge, making the colour even closer to that of the sea. Heat treatment is used to remove this secondary colour, causing the blues to be purer.
As with any gemstone, aquamarine quality varies from the very high to the very low. Our buyers have decades of experience expertly selecting the very best stones in a wide variety of price ranges while maintaining the high standards demanded by the Australian and New Zealand markets. This market demands well cut, eye-clean stones with proportions that warrant the colour and characteristics of each individual stone.
Heat – Almost all natural aquamarine are heat treated to remove the secondary green colour and improve the blue. A high percentage of aquamarine are treated in this way and so you may always assume the stone has been treated. Untreated stones that are also bright and clean are highly prized and always cost more than a heated stone of similar appearance.
Aquamarine is said to protect sailors and guarantees a safe voyage or journey, and is a traditional gift for travellers. It is also believed to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and level-headed. Aquamarine is considered a feminine stone because of its soft and delicate colours, and as such, during the Middle Ages (5th to 15th centuries) was considered to be the perfect morning gift, to be given by the groom to his bride; The custom was for the groom to present a token of his love the morning after the consummation of their marriage.
Aquamarines hardness and its habit of being relatively inclusion free make it a stone suitable for normal wear. Aquamarine is slightly brittle and as such is sensitive to heat and pressure. Care needs to be taken with lager stones to avoid knocking, particularly on the corners. Aquamarine may be cleaned in an ultrasonic with care, as long as there are no large or surface reaching inclusions.
Chemical Composition Be3Al2Si6O18 (Beryllium Aluminium Cyclosilicate)
Crystal System Hexagonal
Refractive Index 1.577 - 1.583
Specific Gravity 2.63 - 2.92
Hardness 7.5 - 8
Fracture Conchoidal, uneven
Lustre Vitreous to resinous