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March - Aquamarine

THE COMPOSITION:
Aquamarine belongs to the Beryl family. This is the same group that provides us with Emerald, Golden Beryl, Morganite & Goshenite. The rough is usually formed in prismatic elongated crystals often etched or striated. For this reason, the larger the gemstone, the more likely it will not be calibrated. Rather the piece will tend to be elongated or, in the case of rounds, much more costly if over 8 mm. Greenish aquamarines are due to iron. But they lose their green tones when the iron (yellow color bearing) is burned out. Blue aquamarines owe they're color to heat treatment of green aquamarine. Therefore, most Aquamarines have been heat treated. If your customer should happen to bring up the subject of treatment you can point out the great advantage of the treatment. That is, there are gas bubbles in some natural rough that later may explode at temperatures as low as 100 degree F. Thus, an untreated Aqua may later develop an inclusion from exposure to heat, such as steam cleaning. However, any heat treated rough with inclusions will have exploded and been discarded. The end result of what you are showing your customer is a beautiful blue, durable, gemstone suitable for everyday wear.

THE LORE:
It is axiomatic, that the longer a mineral is known, the greater number of names it accumulates. Beryl (pronounced barrel) is one of the oldest known minerals, and over several thousands of years it has accumulated an enormous number of terms. However, the term Aquamarine seems to be a relatively modern invention. While authors describe this variety of gemstone, the specific term apparently was first used in an important gemological work by Boetius de Boodt in his Gemmarum et Lapidum Historia. (1647). After this appearance it quickly established itself as an accepted varietal name. Aquamarine through the ages has thought to confer dignity, be symbolic of charity and purity, improve memory, impart wealth, protect against dangers and illness while at sea, avert ambushes, cure shortness of breath, and many other advantages. It also became an appropriate morning gift from a bridegroom to his bride on the day after their wedding. If held in the mouth it enables one to call upon any elemental power and receive satisfaction for any question asked.

How to Care for Aquamarine
The best way to clean your aquamarine jewelry is with plain, warm soapy water (using mild liquid soap) and an old tooth brush. Once you have washed the stone, make sure you rinse it off well with plain water. Be careful to use warm water instead of hot water, to reduce the dangers of thermal shock. Enzyme cleaners and detergent should be avoided for they can cause allergic reactions. It is also not advisable to clean aquamarine in an ultrasonic tank. Avoid sudden temperature changes, steaming, and contact with cosmetics, hairspray, perfume or household chemicals.

Mohs Hardness: 7.0 to 7.5





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