Geology Home Page physical geology historical geology planetary gems
Roger Weller, geology instructor
by Jesse Aguilar
Aquamarine is mostly known for the birthstone of March and used for jewelry such as necklaces and rings. Aquamarines were formed naturally around 35 million years ago. Aquamarine is made up of a lot of different elements such as beryllium, aluminum, silicon and oxygen. Crystals are formed in the earth when magma cools under the earth’s crust while mixed with other materials. The magmas heat is usually around 1,112° F, when the magma cools it forms different types of crystals such as aquamarine crystals. The first time aquamarine was discovered was around 3000 B.C. The name Aquamarine came from two Latin words: Aqua which means “water” and marina which means “of the sea.” Mostly sailors liked to have these gems because they thought that it would protect them from storms and deadly sea creatures.
Aquamarine Gem information:
Aquamarine gems are very hard; they are 7.5 to 8 on Mohs scale of hardness. The way jewelers and other people get aquamarine gems is that they get a crystal and cut, polish, and shape it to make it into a beautiful gem. Aquamarine gems can have a little verity of colors but are typically blue-green and transparent.
Aquamarines are found only in certain parts of the world. The most well-known place is to find them in Brazil. Brazil has many mines and is a large exporter of aqua marine crystal and gems. Other countries that have some sources of aquamarine crystals are Australia, China, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Zambia, and in the U.S.
Aqua marine gem types:
There are many different types of gem types. These are just a few types of aquamarine gems.
Trillion Fancy Nautilus Oval Square
Aquamarine crystals are made up of Be3Al2 (SiO3)6. Be is beryllium, Al is aluminum and SiO is silicon plus oxygen.
This is a picture of the Aquamarine crystal structure. The blue is Beryllium, Oxygen is white, Silicon is green, and Aluminum is grey.