History of Aquamarine Gemstones
In ancient times, it was thought that gems had celestial roots, that is, they came from the stars above. From this particular idea, the superstition was born that certain gemstones possessed powerful and magical powers. People believe that the gems would bring such good luck and fortune to people born under the zodiac signs to which particular gems belong to.
One particular gemstone that has this effect is the aquamarine. Aquamarine is the birthstone for the zodiac sign Pisces. Anybody born between the 19th of February and 20th of March are considered to be Pisceans. The aquamarine birthstone is believed to hold an enormous power such as the ability to control the blue waters of the sea. It could cure illness such as overcoming the effects of poison. It can even bring good fortune. The word “aquamarine” is derived from the Latin words aqua marina, which literally means “sea water”.
Physical Properties of Aquamarine Gemstones
Aquamarine is considered a semiprecious stone. The precious stones being the diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald, the aquamarine is not as expensive as these gems. Under the variety of the beryllium aluminum silicate, the gemstone aquamarine appears in shades of from light blue, blue, blue-green to luminous green. The aquamarine gemstone is usually found inside the cavities of pegmatite rock and granite rock formations. The stone’s sea-green formation used to be highly honored. But at these present times, it is the bluish varieties that are considered as the most prized. There are some women who would rather choose the lighter versions as a substitute for the diamonds in jewelry such as stud earrings or engagement rings. The green aquamarine can be changed to blue by heating it at 450 degrees Celsius or approximately 842 degrees Fahrenheit. The color change is permanent and very hard to detect. On the Mohs scale, the aquamarine has a stiffness and a hardness of 7.5 and a relative density or specific gravity of 2.69. The aquamarine gemstones take the form of hexagonal crystals which may be up to three feet in length.
Aquamarine is generally easier to find than the precious stones. Granite pegmatites usually have aquamarine of the best quality. These are usually found in Brazil and the rest of South America. The perfect transparent blue green stone which weighed approximately about 110.3 kg or 243 lbs was the largest ever aquamarine crystal in the world. This was discovered in the small quiet town of Marambaia, Minas Gerais, Brazil in 1910. Yet, the largest gemstone cut was an aquamarine weighing at an approximately 518.8 grams or 18.2 oz, better yet, at an astonishing 2,594 carats. The aquamarine gemstone could generally be located on several parts of the globe. They are mined in Siberia, the Ural Mountains of Russia, Middle East, South Asia, Central and Southern Africa, and parts of the North America.
Before making a purchase, consumers should be aware of the fact that aquamarine sold in the market today have been enhanced or treated to improve their appearance. This is important because several enhancements may not be permanent or the treated gemstone would require special care.