The name Aquamarine comes from the Latin phrase aqua marina which means “seawater”. Like Emerald, it is a gem quality type of beryl. Like its name suggests, this stone is a lovely bluish-green colour like the stone on the left. The light bluish-green colour of the gem is caused by Fe2+. If it contains Fe3+ in addition to the Fe2+ and becomes a darker blue rather than aqua, it is called Maxixe. Need an easy test that you can do at home to tell whether your stone is an Aquamarine or if it is a Maxixe? Maxixe will turn white if left out in the sun or if it is set someplace hot. If it stays the same colour it is most likely Aquamarine. If in doubt though go to your jeweller. Maxixe can be irradiated so that it retains its colour.
So, where is Aquamarine found? It can be found in almost any place that regular beryl if mined. Most gem quality Aquamarines are mined in Colorado, Wyoming, Brazil, Colombia, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, and Sri Lanka. Madagascar has more Maxixe than it does Aquamarine though. Unlike Emeralds, Aquamarines do not have as many inclusions. It is also less resistant to breaking than its green cousin. That being said, Aquamarine can have clouds in them. Some people like them and some people do not. With as common as Aquamarine is, it is not that uncommon to find very clear stones. However, PANDORA does use the Aquamarine’s with clouds in some of their jewellery. I think they are pretty. On the right are my PANDORA earrings with my Aquamarine Charms on them. If you very closely at the one on the left you will notice that it has a section of very clear stone that you can see right through. For the most part they are clouded though. That is not to say that they are bad quality. The stones are of gem quality, they are just not clear. I think they are pretty and have character, but hey, to each their own.
The good thing about Aquamarine is that it looks good in white, yellow, and rose metal settings. My high school class ring has an Aquamarine and it is a white gold ring. No, Aquamarine is not my birthstone. That would be Ruby, but Aquamarine is my favorite gemstone. I love it. A fun thing to note is that before Diamonds were used in engagement rings or promise rings, the Aquamarine was used. Why? That is because it was associated with Venus. Venus was born of the sea foam and Aquamarine is seawater. Venus is the goddess of love. Why not put one of the stones associated with her in the ring that symbolizes your love for another person? Aquamarine has been one of the most popular gems for a variety of jewellery pieces. It is fairly inexpensive and it looks good in a variety of settings.