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Aquamarine Birthstone

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hawaii_justine

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Hi. I was hoping that somebody might be able to help me. ( I hope I am spelling this correctly, if not please correct me). I was wondering if anyone knows about aquamarine stones. I read in a magazine that the true color of a aquamarine is a dark blue. When I went to a couple of stores to ask them about getting this type of stone they said that aquamarine only comes in the watery blue look. What is correct? Thanks I would appreciate any help. Justine
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valeria101

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I like aquas: I think they are guilty for hooking me up with gems so badly. Well, both sources are somewhat right. The darkest aquas look like some slightly diluted ink (I've seen 2 in my life, among, say 100kg of rough from all over the world and hundreds of gems). The most expensive have a less intense shade of blue (something like a tropical sky in one of those cheap adds, only these aquas are not cheap at all!). These are also rare. Commercial quality (what stores have) are a faint blue (hard to tell if there) to white (transparent, they should be called Goshenite, the name of colorless Beryl, which they are) and go for a few $/ct. Shades inbetween this washed-out objects and the 'tropical sky' (the trade name is Sanat Maria Blue, after the mother lode of all aquas, a famed Brazillian mine) go for progressively higher prices. However, aquas should be available inlarge sizes and perfect (eye clean) clarity in any shade.
A few translucent aquas are valuable precizely because of their inclusions: these are Cats' eye aquas (same commenys on color, but they have a moving white ray accrosss - the result of light reflected bu miriads of tiny threads of rutyle silk perfectly aligned throughout the host crystal lattice). These... are part on my mission on Earth!



Nowadays, the best aqua comes from Africa (Namibia) in strong blue colors, somewhat different from the historic standard of the Santa Maria Mines. In consequesnce, there is a premium for whatever can be claimed to be from the second source.



So, This is a nice aqua, for example (darker, from here, is not necessarily 'better', unless YOU like them so).

Heating is an accepted treatment (removes the greenish shade in the rough, most of the times). Non-heead gems cary a premium, but only slight(as oposed to sapphire, say) and only for top things.
 

AGBF

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Stones #13-18 on this website are described as Santa Maria blue. All are sold, but one can get an idea of what is being labelled "Santa Maria blue" by looking at these. Unless these are not typical examples of that color, valeria? (I love aquamarines, so I had to go see what a Santa Maria blue color *was*!!!)

http://www.africangemstones.co.za/plate3.htm
 

valeria101

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The 'nice' stone I posted a link to is the 'Sanat Maria' color. Compared to it, the African stones are more blue (I'd call the brazillian a blueish tourquois, even if admitting a green compenent to the color is pretty much ANATEMA). However, the store you found has been my beloved source for a while. They are great (ok, prices are not really great, but I don not care to either make money out of this or buy bulk, so I don't care).


The dabete between 'BLUE' and 'Santa Maria Blue' is more a matter of pedigree... Imagine that the barzillian stones have set the benchmark for what the most expensive aquas should look like for decades, and now some equally saturated (color saturation is again the main issue, I guess) stones come to market and commend similar prices. The typical pricing reaction to such gem discoveries seems to be an increase in the price of gems from the OLD locality motivated by origin instead of intrinsic quality. I guess this is motivated by the desire to conserve the value of the olds. Does it make sense? Maybe... usually these deposist are small and become extict within years or decades (unfortunately) and after the contest is over, the best stones gain simmilar prices regardless of origin.


Why I generalize? Because of simmilar developments for Ruby, Emerald, Tsavorite, Sapphire, Dimamond, Peridot and Agate (surely there are others, but I am not a gemologist!). The lesser the general price of the type (say sapphire vs. peridot) the less the price difference based on origin is (as a %). The more diverse the appearence of stones, the bigger the %, regardless (Agate vs Diamond).


Hope this is confusing enough!
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Colored Gemstone Nut

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On 11/21/2003 3:20:25 AM hawaii_justine wrote:





Hi. I was hoping that somebody might be able to help me. ( I hope I am spelling this correctly, if not please correct me). I was wondering if anyone knows about aquamarine stones. I read in a magazine that the true color of a aquamarine is a dark blue. When I went to a couple of stores to ask them about getting this type of stone they said that aquamarine only comes in the watery blue look. What is correct? Thanks I would appreciate any help. Justine
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Hey Hawaii...I posted this info in a previous post, but will also post here for you...



Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family and is recognized for it’s blue color. Aquamarines can vary a great deal in quality and price. Much of what you see in the US market is very light blue in color. Aquamarine can be a very rich blue color that will rival a nice sapphire. Darker blue colors go overseas to Europe or Japan since the demand and prices are higher. very light blue colors are in the range of a few dollars per carat. The natural aquamarines will have an ocean blue/green color that is fairly rare and can be quite expensive. Darker blue non-heat treated aquamarine prices can range from 800-1000.00 per carat for fine naturals . Natural aquamarines will be a blue/green color rather than just the blue. A really fine aqua will have a medium strong blue color with perhaps a hint of green, or if it has not been heat treated a strong bluish green color. It will also be free of eye visible inclusions and well cut with minimal windowing & exceptional color depth. Due to color depth being a important factor, cutters often facet this stone using various barion or emerald cuts which can add depth and bring out a richer blue color to this gem being they are deeper cuts. Most blue aquamarines have been heat treated from other colors to the blue and should be fairly inexpensive, and heating is considered normal practice in the trade to bring out the blue and eliminate any secondary colors. Heat treating usually makes the green color disappear and the stones are more pure light blue. The color of aquamarine is due to trace amounts of iron impurities in the gems crystal structure. Imitations include Synthetic blue Spinel & Blue Topaz. Aquamarines are found in Madagascar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Zambia and Mozambique. The most highly prized source of this gemstone is located in Brazil from the Santa Maria de Itabira mine .
 
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