Friday, March 21, 2008

"Birthstone of the Month"

Stunning "Aquamarine" crystal from
Minas Gerias, Brazil

Picture courtesy of Orbital Joe click the crystal to view more of his stunning photos!

From the beginning of time we adorned ourselves with accessories, which are often some form of jewelry using metal, sterling silver, gold and everything in between. Some of the most stunningly dramatic pieces are designed with "gemstones".

Every woman has a favorite gemstone…I have many!!!
This is the first of a monthly article entitled “Birthstone Of The Month”…March is the fascinating “Aquamarine”, which is also the gemstone for the Zodiac sign Scorpio. It is the suggested gift for the 16th and 19th wedding anniversary …some say it has positive influences in love and relationships.

The name for this gemstone is fitting, “aqua” Latin “water, marina, Latin “sea”, because of the green, blue-green to blue colors, with the blue being the most sought after and valuable. This gemstone is a member of the beryl (mineral) family, which comes in many shades starting with pure beryl being colorless, green (emerald), yellow, greenish yellow blue to blue green, red and pink.
Aquarmarine from the Gilgit area of Pakistan, picture courtesy of "Orbital Joe"

Lower qualities gemstones are often found greenish but with heat treatment of 725 F to 850F (450C) the color can be permanently changed to blue, care must be taken in the heating, as anything higher will cause discoloration. Aquamarine is 7.5-8 in hardness and is brittle…working with it requires sensitivity to this fact.

Aquamarine is found in Australia, (Queensland), Burma (Myanmar), China, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and the United States but the most important location is Brazil.

The largest gemstone quality aquamarine was found in Marambaya, Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 1910 weighing 243 lbs., (110.5kg), 18 in. (48.5 cm) long and 15.5 (42 cm) in diameter…the many stones it was cut into accounted for 100,000cts…can you imagine???

Aquamarine is complemented by both gold and sterling silver, (both bright and oxidized)…and makes for wonderful pieces of jewelry!

All stunning pictures courtesy of "Orbital Joe"
Information source:
http:/ - “Aquamarine”
Gemstones of the World, Walter Schumann, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. - AGTA

1 comment:

  1. That's it, Heather! This beautiful Aquamarine will be my Birthstone. I'm not born in March but that's ok.


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