Aquamarine . It is a member of the beryl family , known for its blue or greenish blue tint, which represents its name. Aquamarine is the birthstone for March. Aquamarine is a decorative gem that almost complements any skin or eye color , making it an all-time favorite for women around the world. It is a popular gem, universal to use, easily accessible and moderately priced.


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  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 History
  • 3 Features
    • 1 Aquamarine colors
    • 2 Clarity
    • 3 Cut
    • 4 Gemology
    • 5 Morphology
  • 4 Deposits
  • 5 Possible confusions
  • 6 Care
  • 7 Common Aquamarine Treatments
  • 8 Sources


The name is derived from the Latin expression agua de mar . Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family, known for its blue or greenish blue tint, which represents its name.


It is a stone that has always been associated with deities and sea creatures. In ancient Egypt aquamarine beads were placed between the bandages of the mummies so that they had protection when going to the afterlife. This stone was already known to the Egyptians as it has been found in ancient mummies. It was already in the Renaissance that it received its current name. Indeed, it is thanks to its transparent green blue, similar to the color of the sea, that it has been baptized aquamarine, which in Latin means “sea water”. Before, it was already attributed to the goddesses of the sea. It is a stone of the beryllium family that has its blue color due to traces of iron.


Aqua colors

Like seawater, aquamarine comes in blue and teal. The more saturated the color, the greater the value.


The best quality aquamarines are clear, transparent gems. Some jewelry may carry long, hollow bar inclusions, a trademark of the beryllium family. Aligned mineral debris, a rare feature, causes a cat’s eye effect or star effect (asterism), with six rays in a vivid glow.


The favorable cuts are emerald (step) and brilliant cut with long or rectangular shapes, it is colored by traces of iron that are found in their own way within the crystalline structure. A dark blue is the most desired color.


  • Species: Beryllium
  • Color: light blue to dark blue, greenish blue
  • Chemical composition: Al2Be3Si6O18, beryllium aluminum silicate
  • Crystal system: (hexagonal), hexagonal prisms
  • Hardness: 7.5 – 8 (Mohs scale)
  • Specific gravity: 2.68 to 2.74
  • Refractive index: 1,564 to 1,596
  • Birefringence: -0.004 to – -0.005
  • Optical character:
  • Stripe Color: White
  • Absorption spectrum: 537, 456, 427
  • Fluorescence: None


Granular aggregates, crystals in the shape of a hexagonal prism and a long column.

  • Specific weight: from 2.67 to 2.71.
  • Refractive index: 1,577-1,583.
  • Birefringence 0.005 to 0.009.
  • Hardness (Mohs Scale) 7.5 – 8.
  • Pleocroism: medium, almost colorless, light blue, blue-blue.
  • Crystal system: hexagonal.
  • Genesis: pegmatites, hydrothermal and metamorphic deposits.
  • Paragenesis: it is found together with ortho (feldspar), quartz, cassiterite, topaz, tourmaline, aluminum silicate and beryl.
  • Chemical composition Be3Al2 (SiO3) 6 Aluminum and beryllium silicate.
  • Refractive index 1,577 – 1,583 ± 0.017.


Abundant found in Northern Ireland , Italy (Elba Island), in the former Soviet Union , Namibia , Madagascar , Zimbabwe , Tanzania , Kenya , Sri Lanka , India , the United States , Australia , Pakistan , Afghanistan , etc. The most important mines in the world are located in Brazil ( Minas Gerais , Bahía , Esperito Santo )

Possible confusion

Due to its characteristics it can be confused with fluorite : hardness 4, specific weight 3.18, refractive index 1,434; with tourmaline : hardness from 7 to 7.5, specific gravity 3.05, refractive index 1.620-1.638, and with jadeite : hardness from 6.50 to 7, specific gravity 3.33 and refractive index 1.65 at 1.67. It owes its color to chrome . Its absorption spectrum is very similar to that of emerald .


Aquamarine should not be cleaned in ultrasonic or steam cleaning. Cleaning with Ionic and / or soapy water with a soft brush as the best way to clean your aquamarine jewelry

Common Aquamarine Treatments

Most aquamarines have been heat treated to produce the popular green-blue colors of the least desired yellow or pale stones. Poor quality stones are heated to 725-850 degrees F (400-450 degrees C), in order to change the color in favor of the desired, permanent aqua blue. Higher temperatures would lead to discoloration.


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