When pressure and temperature conditions inside the Earth form certain crystals, they may be what’s known to a jeweler as a beryl. Beryls are beryllium-aluminium-silicates. If it is pure beryl, they are colorless, but if other foreign substances combined with those elements, beryls may have various colors. Those elements then turn a plain, colorless gemstone into a green, yellow, pink or blue treasure.
When iron combines with the beryl, it creates a blue gemstone, sometimes with greenish tones, known as aquamarine.
Aquamarine is one of our most popular and best-known gemstones, and distinguishes itself with many good qualities. It is almost as popular as the classic gemstones: ruby, sapphire and emerald. In fact the aquamarine is related to the emerald, another member of the beryl family. The color of aquamarine, however, is usually even more than an emerald. Aquamarine is almost entirely free of inclusions, or internal flaws in the stone. Aquamarine has a good hardness (7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale) and a wonderful shine. Because it is very hard, it’s very tough and not prone to scratches. The aquamarine’s color can range from a light pale blue to a strong sea-blue. The more intense the color of the aquamarine, the more value it has.
When an aquamarine (beryl) has such a stunning, highly saturated blue color, it is known as a “Santa Maria” named after the region in Brazil where it was first discovered. Although gemologists do not commonly describe gemstone colors with regions of the world, the term Santa Maria is known to be the finest.
Aquamarines are sometimes also found in other countries, including Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Afghanistan and Pakistan.