Aquamarine is a green, blue and green-blue gem that combines varieties of the mineral beryl. Emerald is the green-to-blue green variety of the same mineral while pure aquamarine usually displays a light pastel greenish blue color. The heat treatment is what gives aquamarine a more bluish appearance. However, in general the color ranges from a faint light blue to blue and bluish-green with lighter colored stones being the most common types of aquamarine.
Actual aquamarine crystals are usually large in size and relatively clean and well-formed. This makes them extremely valuable to collectors of mineral specimens. Aquamarine got its name from the Latin phrase “water of the sea” and contains many other gem varieties such as Emerald, Morganite and Heliodor.
The lighter colors of aquamarine are some of the most affordable, while the deeper colors can command high prices. There have been many enormous transparent crystal masses of this gem found around the world with some exquisite gems that weigh thousands of carats.
Many people mistake light blue Topaz for Aquamarine because of the almost identical colors. However, despite the similarity in colors and physical properties, Aquamarine is typically more expensive than Topaz.
The aquamarine gems are often completely flawless, unlike Emerald or other similar gems. There are almost no aquamarines with visible flaws so producing synthetics, which is quite costly, is rarely considered..
Faceted into many cuts, aquamarine is used in rings, earrings, necklaces and other jewelry pieces. The perfect and flawless six-sided aquamarine crystals are worn as necklace pendants. Lesser quality aquamarines that lack good transparency are sometimes used as beads and stones in necklaces and bracelets.
Brazil is currently the largest producer of Aquamarine. However, there are other important producers - Pakistan, Myanmar (Burma), Russia, Namibia, China Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya and the United States.