Aquamarine ranges in color from light to deep greenish-Blue through blue-Green. The richer the color, the more costly the gem is per carat. Aquamarine achieves its Blue to greenish Blue color from Iron in the ferrous state. Its name is from two Latin words meaning "water" and "sea". Aquamarine amulets were thought to render sailors fearless and protect them from adversities at sea, especially if the stone was engraved with a Poseidon on a chariot. The stone was symbol of happiness and eternal youth, and according to Christian symbolism, it signified moderation and control of the passions to it's owners.
Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl (BARE-ul) mineral family, along with Emerald, Golden Beryl, Goshenite, Bixbite and Morganite.
Brazil is the principal source for Aquamarine. More than 80% of the the Brazilian Aquamarine comes from an area around Teofilo Otoni in the western part of Minas Gerais. Aquamarine is also found in China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Malagasy Republic, Nigeria, Zambia, U.S. in Maine as well as Idaho and California, and the former Soviet Union in the Ural Mountains, as well as Transbaikalia and Siberia.
Aquamarine gemstones with intense colors are becoming very scarce, and their price has increased substantially. Top colors according to the GIA color grading system have 2-4 tones, with 1-4 saturation.
CARE - Aquamarine is generally not heat sensitive, but chemicals that could attack this gem are hydrofluoric acids. Aquamarine should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. We recommend Ionic Cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your Aquamarine.
TREATMENTS: Typically Aquamarines are greenish when mined and cut, the sky blue shades are produced by heat treating the greenish-yellow, greenish, and even brownish beryl gems, so you should assume that all of the intense colors of Aquamarine may have been heat treated. The heat treatment process is a permanent process that does not adversely affect the performance and durability of the gemstone, so there's no need to worry when you see this enhancement disclosed, however, any type of treatment performed on a gemstone does affect it's value. A natural non-treated or untreated gem is more desirable, therefore will carry a higher premium.
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