name = Aquamarine
imagesize = 250
caption = Aquamarine
formula = Be3Al2Si6O18
color = transparent (or can be translucent if included), greenish blue to blue green, typically light in tone
Gemological Institute of America, "GIA Gem Reference Guide" 1995, ISBN:0-87311-019-6]
cleavage = very difficult in one direction, almost never seen
mohs = 7.5 - 8
refractive = 1.577 - 1.583 (+/- .017)
opticalprop = Double refractive, uniaxial negative
birefringence = .005 - .009
dispersion = .014
pleochroism = weak to moderate, blue and greenish blue; or different tones of blue with lighter tones associated with the optic axis direction
absorption = indistinct lines at 537 and 456nm. Depending on the depth of color, there is a strong line at 427nm.
gravity = 2.72 (+.18, -.05)
Aquamarine (Lat. "aqua marinā", "water of the sea") is a
gemstone-quality transparent variety of beryl, having a delicate blue or turquoisecolor, suggestive of the tint of seawater. It is closely related to the gem emerald. Colors vary and yellow beryl ( heliodor), rose pink beryl ( morganite), and white beryl ( goshenite) are known.
Aquamarine is a beryl with a hexagonal
crystal structureand a chemical formulaof Be3Al2( SiO3)6, a beryllium aluminiumsilicate mineral. It has a specific gravityof 2.68 to 2.74 and a Mohs hardnessof from 7.5 to 8. Aquamarine typically is on the low end of the specific gravity range, normally at less than 2.7. The pink variety exhibits a high specific gravity of around 2.8. Refractive indices range around 1.57 to 1.58.
Locations of deposits
It occurs at most localities which yield ordinary beryl, some of the finest coming from
Russia. The gem-gravel placer deposits of Sri Lankacontain aquamarine. Clear yellow beryl, such as occurs in Brazil, is sometimes called aquamarine chrysolite. When corundumpresents the bluish tint of typical aquamarine, it is often termed Oriental aquamarine.
United States, aquamarines can be found at the summit of Mt. Antero in the Sawatch Rangein central Colorado. In Wyoming, aquamarine has been discovered in the Big Horn mountains, near Powder River Pass. In Brazil, there are mines in the states of Minas Gerais, Espírito Santoand Bahia. Colombia, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzaniaand Kenyaalso produce aquamarine.
The biggest aquamarine ever mined was found at the city of Marambaia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 1910. It weighed over 110 kg, and its dimensions were 48.5 cm long and 42 cm in diameter.
Culture and historical/mythical usage
*Aquamarine (along with bloodstone) is the
birthstoneassociated with March. It is also the gemstone for the 19th Anniversary.
*People in the
Middle Agesthought that aquamarine could magically overcome the effects of poison.
*Ancient sailors traveled with aquamarine crystals, believing that it would ensure a safe voyage, and guarantee a safe return; they often slept with the stones under their pillow to ensure sound sleep. They believed the siren’s (
mermaid) fish-like lower body was made of aquamarine.
List of minerals
* Weinstein, Michael, 1958, "The World of Jewel Stones" Sheriden House, New York, pp 104-107
* Diamond Bug. [http://diamondbug.blogspot.com/2006/03/flawless-aquamarine-march-birthstone.html "Flawless Aquamarine: March Birthstone"] . Retrieved March 16, 2006.
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