Cochise College                   Student Papers in Geology
Geology Home Page                         physical geology  historical geology  planetary  gems
Roger Weller, geology instructor                     

Nwande Gardiner
Physical Geology
Fall 2005




          Aquamarine is known as one of the birthstones for the month of March, and is also the anniversary gemstone for the 19th year of marriage. The word aquamarine derived from the Latin meaning “sea water.” This gemstone can range in color from near colorless to a sky blue to a sea green of oceans, and sometimes has a slight greenish tint. It is also closely related to emeralds. However unlike the emerald, aquamarines are often flawless.

          This gemstone is said to aid seafarers by keeping them safe, and makes a perfect gift for those who are out to sea frequently because it protects them from seasickness. It was also believed that the stone would gift its wearer with foresight, knowledge, and increase intelligence and make them youthful. In line with the tale that amethyst would protect its owner from drunkenness, aquamarine was believed to relief anxiety.

          Aquamarines range in hardness from 7 ½ to 8 on Mohs scale. It has an imperfect cleavage and vitreous luster. It is a very tough stone, but can also be brittle. There are many stones that are similar in color and have been called aquamarines when they are not. Some of those stones are: blue topaz, sapphire, blue tourmaline, apatite, and fluorite. However a simple test can be done to check a gemstone and class it as an aquamarine.

         The majority of the supply of aquamarine comes from South America and Africa. There are also places in Afghanistan and Pakistan where aquamarines have been found.

          For those of us who are lucky enough to have been born in March we have a beautiful birthstone that is now well on its way to becoming as popular as emeralds, diamonds, rubies, and sapphires because of its beautiful shine and clarity.  Below are pictures of the gemstone aquamarine.









pictures were found on Google images