Aquamarine is a gemstone variety of the mineral beryl, and the birthstone for March. Its color is blue-green or aqua. The name is derived from the Latin aqua marina, "water of the sea". It can be found where other varieties of beryl are found. The finest gemstones are from Russia, Sri Lanka, and Brazil.
The US produces some aquamarine, in central Colorado and near the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Found mainly in granite pegmatites, aquamarine is associated with quartz, feldspars, and muscovites. The color is due to iron impurities in the beryl. There are no significant industrial uses for aquamarine, although it does contain the rare element beryllium, which is used in x-ray windows, computer parts, aircrafts, missiles and communication satellites.
Aquamarine is widely popular as a gemstone. For years it was carried by sailors at sea as a charm, and for their protection. Metaphysicists say it replaces anger and negativity with peace and clarity. Aquamarine is mentioned in the Bible, as a stone in the breastplate of Aaron, and in the book of Revelation as one of the foundation stones of the church. Spectacular aquamarines are on display at several museums around the world. The Smithsonian, the British Museum of Natural History, the LA County Museum, and the museum of Hyde Park all display large, well known aquamarine specimens.
The largest known aquamarine was found at Minas Gerais, Brazil, and weighs 110 kilograms. Aquamarine is a medium priced gemstone available in a range of rare colors, that in its transparent state sparkles like the sea water after which it is named. Aquamarine, a blue-green gemstone variety of beryl, is apt to be “cleaner” than emerald, which is prone to inclusions. Thus, aquamarine might be considered a more affordable gem, especially in larger sizes It is the traditional birthstone for March.
Once, the greenish aqua-colored stones were preferred, but now the deeper blues are popular. Some are heat treated, which is an accepted industry practice. It is, of course, a matter of personal preference. The unique color of aquamarine is from iron impurities.
Sometimes aquamarines occur with chatoyancy and asterism and are cut int cabochons to display the cat’s eye or star effects. Unlike other gemstones, aquamarine isn’t known for its industrial applications. However, one component, the rare element beryllium is used in x-ray windows, computer parts, aircrafts, missiles and communication satellites.
The name aquamarine is from the Latin “aquamarina” which means “water of the sea”. Aquamarines have lng been associated with sailors. At one time, sailors carried them as charms for protection on sea voyages. Aquamarines are found in granite pegmatites, often along with the minerals quartz, feldspar and muscovite. The best aquamarines are from Russia, Sri Lanka, and Brazil. In the U.S. they are found in the Sawatch Mountain Range of Colorado, and in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Other countries that mine aquamarines are Colombia, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya. Some spectacularly large specimens have been found and are on display in museums around the world. One weighing 110 kilos was mined at Minas Gerais, in Brazil.
The largest cut aquamarine is the Dom Pedro, now on display at the National Museum of Natural History. The original stone weighed over 100 pounds. Lore associated with aquamarines goes back many centuries. The Greeks and Romans said the stones came from the treasure chests of mermaids. It is associated with psychic abilities, mysticism, clarity of thought, communication, peace, courage and purity. Aquamarine is mentioned in the Bible as one of the stones in Aaron"s breastplate, and in the New Testament as a foundation stone of the church.
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I grew up around gem and mineral enthusiasts, otherwise known as rockhounds. I deal in minerals, crystals, and stones for jewelry makers. My other interests are literature, music, science, nature, gardening, art,ethnic culture, history, cats, collies, and horses. I write web articles, confessions, poetry, short fiction, and blog posts, sometime under the pseudonym Synnove Helgerud. My rock shop website is here
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