AQUAMARINE, the blue variety of beryl
VARIETY OF: Beryl
, Be3 Al2 Si6 O18 .
BIRTHSTONE FOR: March
COLOR: various shades of blue to blue-green.
INDEX OF REFRACTION: 1.57 - 1.60
BIREFRINGENCE: 0.004 - 0.008
HARDNESS: 7.5 - 8
CLEAVAGE: one direction, poor.
CRYSTAL SYSTEM: hexagonal
For natural aquamarine mineral specimens see our For Sale or Sold lists
Aquamarine is the blue, or perhaps more correctly, blue-green or aqua variety of the mineral
beryl. Other gemstone color varieties that
are also the mineral beryl include emerald,
Other colors of beryl are simply referred to by their color, such as
Aquamarine is colored by trace amounts of iron.
Most gem aquamarines have been heat treated to produce the popular blue-green colors from less desirable yellow or pale stones.
The leading producer of aquamarines is the country of Brazil, which has many mines.
Pakistan, as well as many U.S. localities, produce wonderful specimens as well. Recently, a new mine in China has produced large numbers of excellent flat
(stubby) hexagonal crystals, for a fraction of the price of those beautiful
Aquamarine is sometimes found in huge crystals (unlike emerald). It is
also known in a glassy form, often without showing crystal form, and sometimes
with many holes or other odd shapes. Other times a large cluster of
prismatic crystals can be seen to all have the same alignment - a sign that it
is really a single crystal with many faces.
Aquamarine often forms perfect, flawless crystals - also unlike Emerald for
which flawless natural crystals are extremely rare.
Aquamarine is the birthstone for