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Aquamarine Mineral Information Page
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Aquamarine Facts & Aquamarine Mineral Information

See our other gem BERYL varieties: EMERALD, GOSHENITE, HELIODOR, MORGANITE and RED BERYL (bixbite)

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Beryl (Be3Al2(Si6O18) is a relatively common mineral although it does contain the rare element beryllium. It is most well known however for its gem varieties: the pale green to blue aquamarine, the intense green emerald, the pale yellow to yellowish-orange heliodor and the pale pink to salmon colored morganite. Beryl also occurs as the colorless gem variety goshenite, and as the very rare red gem beryl variety bixbite.

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Aquamarine (Be3Al2(Si6O18)) occurs primarily in granite pegmatites and to a lesser extent in miarolitic cavities in granites, also in hydrothermal carbonate veins and greisens.

Aquamarine is typically associated with quartz, feldspars and muscovite, and often occurs with other pegmatite accessory minerals such as biotite, garnet, phenakite and topaz.

Because of aquamarine's relatively high hardness and specific gravity, it is sometimes found in eluvial and aluvial deposits.

The color of aquamarine is due to trace amounts of iron impurities in the beryl structure. The color ranges from pale green to pale blue to blue depending on the relative concentrations of Fe2+ to Fe3+ and on where the iron impurities are located within the beryl crystal structure. The beryl crystal structure contains channels outlined by rings of (Si-O)6 units. These rings are stacked upon each other leaving space within the channels for water or other impurities. Color influencing iron impurities can be present in these interstitial channel sites or substituting for aluminum in octahedral sites. When Fe3+ is present substituting for aluminum in the octahedral site a yellow color is produced. When Fe2+ is present in the interstitial channel site a pure blue color is evident. When both are present the typical blue-green color of fine aquamarine jewelry is produced. Heating green-blue aquamarine to approximately 300 degrees Celcius reduces the Fe3+ to Fe2+, thereby eliminating the yellow and green colors leaving only the pure blue color that is most popular. Irradiation can reverse this process restoring the yellow and green colors.

Aquamarine is usually recognized by its hexagonal form, color and specific gravity. Distinguished from apatite by its greater hardness.

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The name aquamarine is of Latin origin meaning sea water in allusion to its color.

Aquamarine is used as a gemstone.

Traditionally, aquamarine has been used as a charm by sailors for protection while at sea.

Wearing aquamarine earrings or jewelry is also believed to preserve and enhance mutual love and to maintain a good marriage, and to ensure truth in relationships and business dealings.

The astrological signs of aquamarine are Pisces and Scorpio.

Aquamarine is the modern birthstone for the month of March, it is also an optional birthstone for October.

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Wearing aquamarine jewelry or holding an aquamarine crystal is said to release anger and negativity replacing them with mental peace and clarity, providing emotional and mental balance. It is also said to aid in meditation, and to give courage and to assist in self-expression.

Natural aquamarine jewelry is said to help reduce dependence on drugs, to aid in digestion, as a remedy for swollen glands and to maintain the health of the jaws and teeth.

For more in-depth metaphysical information, see our Metaphysical Books section.

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Last Updated: April 3, 2015
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