Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and the gem for the 19th anniversary. The name originated from the Latin ‘aqua marina’ which means ‘water of the sea’; this describes Aquamarine’s beautiful sea green to sky blue tones perfectly. It is a variety of the Beryl family and has a hardness of 7.5 – 8 on Moh’s scale. Aquamarine has a fine lustre and clean gems are available and desirable.
Historically Aquamarine has been an admired gem and as the shift to coloured gems from diamond continues, Aquamarine is sought after for all types of jewellery. Aquamarine is available in many shapes and sizes and is more readily available in larger sizes than many other gems. Larger gems are particularly popular as the price per carat does not increase dramatically as it does in Sapphire and Ruby as their size increases. The deeper shades command higher prices although the mid to light hues are very popular. Countries currently producing Aquamarine commercially are Brazil, Madagascar, India, Mozambique and Pakistan. The specific gravity of Aquamarine is 2.68 – 2.80 and the refractive index is 1.563-1.582 doubly refractive.
Synthetic Aquamarine is produced by the hydrothermal process and simulants include blue Topaz, glass and synthetic Spinel.