Aquamarines come in a wide range of shades and colors, from pale pastel to sky blue and blue-green to sea-green. The rarest and most valuable aquamarines are those with a deep blue color.
The best gems combine high clarity with transparency and blue to slightly greenish blue hues.
The color of aquamarine is due to trace amounts of iron that works its way inside the crystal. Most commercially-sold aquamarines are heat-treated to produce a more desirable blue-green color.
Aquamarines have a hexagonal-shaped crystal system. They are pleochroic in nature, meaning they can show three colors, depending on the angle they’re viewed.
Like many gems, aquamarines are thought by some to have metaphysical powers, including the ability to clear and cleanse, refresh and uplift. Some say they also promote courage, calm, compassion, tolerance, love, communication, self-expression, reasoning, intellect and connection to one’s higher self.
Aquamarines are also said to aid in the healing of sore throats and swollen glands, and in calming nerves, improving vision, and cooling sunburns and fevers.
The ancient Romans believed that Neptune, the god of the sea, obtained aquamarines from the jewel boxes of the Sirens. Legend has it that Neptune gave aquamarines as a gift to the mermaids.
Because of their bond with the sea, aquamarine is the gemstone of several sea goddesses, including Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Aphrodite was also widely worshipped as a goddess of the sea and of seafaring.
Aquamarines are mined in exotic locations including Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan and Mozambique, but most modern aquamarines come from Brazil.
One of the largest aquamarines ever mined weighed 110.5 kg. It was found in 1910 in Marambaia/Minas Gerais, Brazil.
In the United States, the only location where you can mine for aquamarines is Mount Antero in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The elusive gem is said to be found at altitudes of 14,000 feet or more.
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