Aquamarine means seawater.
A variety of Beryl, this captivating stone occurs in all the colors of water, from light blue-green to deep, clear blue. Aquamarine in deep blue can be quite expensive, and like Emerald, Aquamarines are sturdy but may easily break if struck. Aquamarine may fade when exposed to strong sunlight for prolonged periods. Unlike Emerald, Aquamarine gems are often completely transparent and flawless, and cut stones exhibiting visible flaws are rare. Aquamarine is the birthstone for the month of March and the astrological sign of Gemini.
On the Market
Aquamarine comes from Brazil, Colombia, India, Madagascar, Pakistan, Russia and Sri Lanka. The stone is relatively common and affordable in light colors. Large and transparent Aquamarine crystal masses are often found, and cut gems weighing thousands of carats are often created from these crystals. The most favored cut for aquamarine is an emerald step-cut, but brilliant cut stones in long or rectangular shapes are also quite popular. Sometimes, translucent Aquamarine with cat’s-eye effects or asterism are cut into cabochons, and lesser quality materials are often used for beads.
Enhancement and Treatments
Light blue Topaz is easily mistaken for Aquamarine as the color of both gems is nearly identical. Topaz is generally much less expensive and because the physical properties of these stones are similar, gem testing is recommended for large stones. Synthetic Aquamarine is extremely costly to produce, so it is typically not produced for the gemstone market, but almost all aquamarine has been heat-treated to enhance its color. Care must be taken during treatment to not to overheat Aquamarine, as the stone may become colorless. Other treatments include colorless impregnation with oil or resin to improve clarity and colored impregnation with dye and resin to improve color and clarity.
The “seawater stone” is believed to have soothing energy and was considered to be a good luck stone for sea travel. Practitioners use the flowing, peaceful vibration of Aquamarine to move and purify energy, aid emotional healing, and to achieve deep meditative states. Aquamarine is ruled by the Moon and infused with feminine energy and helps to relieve stress. The stone is thought to protect a wearer’s energy from being drained by surrounding negativity.
Aquamarine in Jewelry
Aquamarine is versatile and can be faceted into many gemstone cuts. It’s a popular stone for rings, necklaces, pendants and other jewelry. Occasionally, flawless six-sided raw Aquamarine crystals are used for pendants. Aquas are durable gemstones but require care as harsh chemicals may damage them. To prevent scratches, store Aquamarine gemstones separately from harder stones, and use warm, soapy water to clean Aquamarine gems and jewelry using a soft cloth.