All you need to know about aquamarine gemstone

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All you need to know about aquamarine gemstone

Gemstones are highly popular, especially when it comes to jewellery, but also as far as collectors are concerned, as many people have acknowledge the great beauty and value of these unique stones and minerals. Aquamarine is part of the beryl minerals group, together with the green emerald, which is one of the precious four gemstones in the world, the other three being the diamond, ruby and sapphire. One of the main reasons for which the aquamarine gemstone is world famous is its amazing sea blue colour, which ranges from very light blue to dark blue. Its colour also gave birth to its name, as aquamarine means seawater in Latin. Another unique feature of this gemstone is its exceptional hardness and its phenomenal glass-like brightness. Although both green emerald and aquamarine are beryllium aluminium silicates, the first is blurred and full of inclusions, while the second is amazingly transparent and has a breathtaking clarity.

 

As mentioned above, the aquamarine gemstone comes in a variety of shades of blue, from the lightest to the darkest sea blue, but the most sought after type of gem is the dark, deeply saturated colour, which is also the most valuable. Throughout history, there have been numerous heavy aquamarine findings, some stones weighing tons, but many of them couldn’t be cut because their colour was opaque or they wear too weak. The largest stone that qualified for cutting was found in Brazil, in Minas Gerais, back in 1910, weighing 110.5 kilograms and being almost half a meter long. The stone was cut into a large number of gems weighing a total of over 100, 000 carats. When evaluating this gemstone, there are two main criteria to be considered, its clarity and its colour intensity, the next one being the quality of the cut. Although Brazil is the leading producer of aquamarine gemstones, having a large number of mines spread around the country, there are also other countries where this beautiful stone can be sourced, such as Australia, India, Madagascar, China and Mozambique just to name a few.

 

As mentioned above, the colour of the aquamarine gemstone is the most important criteria in determining the value of the gem, reason for which these stones are often treated for colour enhancement. The treatment consists in heating the gem at low temperatures in order to reduce the yellow or green tones and obtain an advantageous blue. However, it is really important to maintain the heating temperatures low, no higher than 450° C, otherwise discoloration occurs. The cut and shape of the aquamarine is also important, the stone being largely available in cabochon and faceted cuts. It is most used for jewellery in square or rectangular mounts, because it’s best suited for these shapes and they are very popular among women everywhere, although brilliant cuts are also very high in demand.