Aquamarine

Big Photo

Aquamarine Dreamscape Cut
15.90 carats
© johndyergems.com

Aquamarine (from Latin: aqua marina, "water of the sea") is so named because of its seawater colour.

It is a pale to medium blue, blue-green variety of beryl, probably the most common colour for gem quality beryl.

Crystals of gem quality can be very large. Unique Brazilian aquamarines such as the Marta Rocha with a weight of 37.7 kg produced 57.200 carats of cut stones, the Urubu with a weight of 33.2 kg, the Jacueto with a weight of 19 kg, and others, are widely known.

A deeper blue variety originally called Maxixe after the Maxixe mine in Brazil where it was found, is better referred to as Blue beryl (Maxixe).

Aquamarine Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Aquamarine Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Aquamarine gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:0.14 cts
Heaviest:61.60 cts
Average:9.24 cts
Total photos:119
Do you have a larger Aquamarine? Why not upload a photo?
Significant stones
Papamel552,500 cts
Marta Rocha173,500 cts
Esterela de Alve96,000 cts
Dom Pedro aquamarine10,363 cts
0.14ct to 6.29ct6.29ct to 12.43ct12.43ct to 18.58ct18.58ct to 24.72ct24.72ct to 30.87ct30.87ct to 37.02ct37.02ct to 43.16ct43.16ct to 49.31ct49.31ct to 55.45ct55.45ct to 61.60ct
General Information
A variety or type of:Beryl
Varieties/Types:
Blue Beryl (Maxixe) - Deep blue beryl.
Significant stones
ImageNameWeightCountry of OriginCurrent Owner
Papamel552,500.00 ctsBrazil
Marta Rocha173,500.00 ctsBrazil
Esterela de Alve96,000.00 ctsBrazil
Dom Pedro aquamarine10,363.00 ctsBrazilSmithsonian Institution
Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Aquamarine Treatments
Greenish hue removed by heat-treatment - Blue Chart Gem Identification, Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, 2010, p 6
Lower qualities are heated to 725-850 degrees F (400-450 degrees C) to change them to the desired, permanent aquamarine blue. Higher heat will lead to discoloration. Colors can also be improved with neutron and gamma irradiation, but these changes do not last. - Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world, 2001, p 90
Aquamarine Simulants
Blue topaz: trichroism (weak to none): colorless - (pinkish) - bluish; Chelsea: may appear yellowish-greenish, grayish, bluish, pinkish. Synthetic spinel and synthetic quartz: Chelsea: pinkish to red - Blue Chart Gem Identification, Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, 2010, p 6
Synthetic Aquamarine
Synthetic aquamarine can be produced but is uneconomical. - Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world, 2001, p 90
Physical Properties of Aquamarine
Mohs Hardness7.5 to 8
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Specific Gravity2.66 to 2.80
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
Optical Properties of Aquamarine
Refractive Index1.570 to 1.592
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
Optical CharacterUniaxial/-
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
Birefringence0.005 to 0.009
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
PleochroismDichroism: colorless to greenish bluish - blue to sky blue. Greenish-blue stones - distinct: yellowish-greenish - blue-green
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Dispersion0.014
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Colour
Colour (General)Blue, greenish-blue
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
Colour (Chelsea Filter)Greenish blue
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Causes of ColourLight blue, Fe2+ in the channels of the structure. Darker blue, Fe2+-O-Fe3+ intervalence charge transfer.
W. William Hanneman, Pragmatic Spectroscopy For Gemologists (2011)
Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (General)Inert
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Crystallography of Aquamarine
Crystal SystemHexagonal
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
HabitLong-prismatic habit, occasional vertical striations and growth and etch figures on the prism faces.
E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems (2003)
Inclusions in Aquamarine
Solid inclusions are quartz, muscovite, garnet (spessartine, almandine), tourmaline (Schorl?), apatite, and less often epidote, tantalo-columbite, cassiterite and hematite. Gas-liquid inclusions are concentrated as veils and thin tube-like channels parallel to the long axis of the crystal. There are also gas and multi-phase inclusions with halite, sylvite, muscovite and other minerals, which may occupy 30 to 40% of the vacuole volume. - Geology of gems, E.Ya. Kievlenko, 2003, p. 102
Common tube-like inclusions parallel to optical-axis - Blue Chart Gem Identification, Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, 2010, p 6
Healing cracks, hollow tubes, two-phase inclusions, mica, ets - Gemmological Tables, Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, 2004, p 10
Further Information
Mineral information:Aquamarine information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
Afghanistan
 
  • Badakhshan Province (Badakshan Province; Badahsan Province)
    • Jurm District
      • Koksha Valley (Kokscha Valley; Kokcha Valley)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
  • Konar Province (Kunar Province; Konarh Province; Konarha Province; Nuristan)
    • Chapa Dara District
Glas (2002)
  • Nangarhar Province (Ningarhar Province)
    • Surkh Rod District
Blauwet et al. (1997)
  • Nuristan Province (Nurestan Province; Nooristan Province; Nuristan)
    • Du Ab District
      • Nilaw-Kolum pegmatite field
Glas (2002)
    • Kamdesh District
Glas (2002)
Brazil
 
  • Bahia
Couto (2000)
  • Espírito Santo
    • Mimoso do Sul
Menezes (2005)
Menezes (2005)
    • Muqui
Cassedanne and Alves (1994)
  • Minas Gerais
    • Caraí
Kievlenko E.Ya., Geology of gems, 2003, p. 113
Cassedanne and Alves (1994)
    • Coronel Murta
      • Barra do Salinas
Cassedanne and Alves (1994)
E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 113
      • Golconda district
Kievlenko E.Ya., Geology of gems, 2003, p. 113
    • Itinga
      • Taquaral
        • Piauí valley
[var: Blue Beryl (Maxixe)] Kievlenko E.Ya., Geology of gems, 2003, p. 113
    • Mucuri valley
      • Catuji
Menezes (2005)
Menezes (2005)
    • Padre Paraíso
Cassedanne and Alves (1994)
Cassedanne and Alves (1994)
Cassedanne and Alves (1994)
Viana et al. (2002)
    • Santa Maria de Itabira
Cassedanne and Alves (1994)
Laurs (2004)
  • Paraíba
    • Borborema mineral province
      • Junco do Seridó
Kievlenko E.Ya., Geology of gems, 2003, p. 113
      • Pedra Lavrada
R. Wegner and O. Moura (2000)
  • Rio Grande do Norte
    • Borborema mineral province
Bhaskara-Rao (2002)
Canada
 
  • British Columbia
    • Atlin Mining Division
      • Bennett
Groat (2005), Wilson (2007)
  • Yukon
    • Watson Lake Mining District
Groat (2005), Turner et al. (2007)
China
 
  • Sichuan Province
    • Mianyang Prefecture
      • Pingwu Co.
        • Mt Xuebaoding
          • Huya township
Liu (2005)
  • Xinjiang Autonomous Region
    • Yili Hasake Autonomous Prefecture (Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture)
      • Aletai Prefecture (Altay Prefecture)
        • Fuyun Co. (Koktokay Co.)
          • Koktokay pegmatite field (Keketuohai pegmatite field)
            • Altay Mine
Tang et al. (2004), Liu (2005), Li (2009)
  • Yunnan Province
    • Nujiang Autonomous Prefecture
Marshall et al. (2009)
Finland
 
  • Southern Finland Region
    • Luumäki
      • Kännätsalo
Lyckberg (2004, 2005), Wise (2005)
India
 
  • Tamil Nadu
Boehm (2000), Michelou (2006)
Kazakhstan
 
  • Karagandy Province (Qaragandy Oblysy; Karaganda Oblast')
    • Akchatau (Aqshatau; Akschatau; Akchataul; Akshatau)
Spiridonov (1998)
Kenya
 
  • Eastern Province
Cairncross (2005)
Madagascar
E.Ya. Kievlenko ( 2003) Geology of gems, p. 112
  • Antananarivo Province
    • Vakinankaratra Region
      • Betafo District
Pezzotta (2001), Danet |(2007)
E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 112
  • Antsiranana Province
    • Sava Region (Northeastern Region)
      • Andapa District
        • Andapa Pegmatite Field
  • Fianarantsoa Province
    • Amoron'i Mania Region
      • Ambatofinandrahana District
        • Mandrosonoro Commune
          • Ambatovita
Laurs and Quinn (2002)
Mozambique
 
  • Zambezia Province
    • Alto Ligonha District
      • Mocuba District
Schafer and Arlt (2000), Schappmann (2005), Cairncross (2005)
Schafer and Arlt (2000), Schappmann (2005), Cairncross (2005)
Schafer and Arlt (2000), Schappmann (2005), Cairncross (2005)
Myanmar
 
  • Mandalay Region (Mandalay Division)
    • Pyin-Oo-Lwin District
      • Mogok Township
        • Bernardmyo
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Chaung-gyi
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Kin (Guard Post)
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Kyatpyin North
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Kyauk-Pyat-That
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Kyi et al. (2005), Hlaing (2009)
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Mogok Valley
          • Dattaw-taung (Dattaw hill)
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Pein-Pyit (Painpyit; Pyan Pyit)
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
  • Shan State
    • Kyaukme District
      • Momeik Township
Kyi et al. (2005)
          • Khetchel village (Cache village; Khat Che village)
Kyi et al. (2005)
Namibia
 
  • Erongo Region
Jahn (2000), Jahn and Bahmann (2000)
    • Karibib District
      • Spitzkopje Area
Jahn (2000), Jahn and Bahmann (2000), Glas (2002)
Jahn (2000), Jahn and Bahmann (2000), Glas (2002), Laurs (2002)
      • Usakos
Cairncross et al (1998)
Nepal
 
  • Kosi Zone (Koshi Zone)
    • Sankhuwasabha District (Sankhuwa Sahba; Shankuwa-Sava)
Nigeria
 
  • Kaduna State
Kammerling et al. (1995)
  • Nassarawa State (Nasarawa State)
J. Micheou (2009)
  • Plateau State
Lind et al. (1986)
    • Nanarawa Eggon
Kammerling et al. (1995)
Pakistan
 
  • Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas)
    • Astor District (Astore District)
      • Astor valley (Astore valley)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
    • Baltistan
      • Skardu District
Hammer and Muhammad (2004)
Hammer (2003, 2004)
Hammer (2003, 2004)
        • Braldu Valley
Hammer and Muhammad (2004)
Hammer and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
        • Haramosh Mts.
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
        • Shigar Valley
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
    • Diamar District (Diamir District)
      • Chilas
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
    • Gilgit District
      • Haramosh Mts.
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
      • Hunza Valley
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
Blauwet and Muhammad (2004)
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (North-West Frontier Province)
    • Chitral District (Chitral Valley)
      • Lutkho Valley
Khan (1986)
Russia
 
  • Eastern-Siberian Region
    • Transbaikalia (Zabaykalye)
      • Chitinskaya Oblast'
        • Nerchinsk (Nertschinsk)
          • Nerchinsk Gem mines
            • Adun-Cholon Range
P. Lyckberg (2005)
Hochleitner (2005)
                • Novaya Vein
E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 116
Ref: E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 116
P. Lyckberg (2005)
  • Urals Region
    • Middle Urals
      • Sverdlovskaya Oblast'
        • Yuzhakovo Village
          • Alabashka pegmatite field
P. Lyckberg (2009)
Sri Lanka
 
  • Sabaragamuwa Province
    • Ratnapura District
Dissanayake et al. (2000)
      • Ratnapura
Econ Geol (1981) 76:733-738
Tajikistan
 
  • Viloyati Mukhtori Gorno-Badakhshan (Viloyati Badakhshoni Kuni)
    • Pamir Mts
      • Rangkul' Highlands
Skrigitil (1996)
Ukraine
 
  • Zhytomyr Oblast' (Zhitomir Oblast')
Koivula et al. (1993), Lyckberg (2005)
USA
 
  • California
    • San Diego Co.
      • Mesa Grande District
        • Gem Hill
Mauthner (2008)
      • Pala District
        • Pala
          • Chief Mountain
            • Elizabeth R. Mine (Hazel W. claim)
Sinkankas (1997)
  • Colorado
    • Chaffee Co.
Potucek (2005)
  • Connecticut
    • Middlesex Co.
      • East Hampton (Chatham)
Jarnot (2005)
  • Maine
    • Oxford Co.
      • Buckfield
Sinkankas (1997)
Potucek (2005)
    • Sagadahoc Co.
  • New Hampshire
    • Cheshire Co.
      • Alstead
Wise (2005)
    • Grafton Co.
      • Groton
Wise (2005)
  • North Carolina
    • Cleveland Co.
      • Shelby
  • Utah
    • Tooele Co.
      • Spring Creek
U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Vietnam
 
Michelou (2006)
Zambia
 
  • Eastern Province
    • Chipata District
      • Lukusuzi National Park
Mambwe and Sikatali (1994)
Milisenda et al. (2000), Carranza et al. (2005)
Zimbabwe
 
  • Mashonaland East
    • Mutoko District (Mtoko District)
Cairncross (2005)
  • Mashonaland West
    • Karoi District (Urungwe; Hurungwe District)
Milisenda et al. (2000), Cairncross (2005)
Milisenda et al. (2000), Cairncross (2005)
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