Aquamarine gemstones are semi-precious gemstones, a blue-green variety of the mineral beryl. While aquamarine stones are mined in locations all around the globe including Sri Lanka, the United States, Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya, some of the finest gemstones are found in Brazil. In fact, it was in the Santa Maria de Itabira mine in Menas Gerais, Brazil, where the original aquamarine gemstone possessing a unique deeply saturated blue hue was discovered. Thus, stones with such a color are now dubbed ‘Santa Maria,’ regardless of their origin.
Although aquamarine stones are semi-precious gemstones, they rank between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Just to compare, diamonds rank 10 and sapphires and rubies rank 9. An aquamarine stone’s hardness can be compared to that of an emerald, which isn’t surprising because emeralds are also a variety of beryl. The Fe2+ ion is responsible for the blue color. Some aquamarine stones display a very blue color, referred to as Maxixe. This color is achieved due to the combinations of ions. When Fe2+, and Fe3+, which causes a deep yellow color, are both present in a stone, a darker blue is created.
The 4 Cs of the Santa Maria Aquamarine Gemstone
Most gemstones are assessed using the 4 Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carat. Color is of utmost importance for colored gemstones like aquamarine stones. Therefore, they are first categorized by the quality and type of color that they display, such as a Santa Maria blue. Clarity refers to the imperfections or the lack thereof, within a stone. For colorless stones it is ideal to be as clear and void of inclusions as possible. While it is still of great significance to showcase impressive clarity, color gemstones, particularly beryl, generally possess some sort of imperfection. Having said that, Santa Maria aquamarine gemstones are known for being ‘eye clean,’ meaning, inclusions cannot be detected by the unaided eye. In terms of cut, aquamarine stones need to be cut with sharp angles and symmetric patterns because of their reflective nature. This is why stones with a high clarity can still appear dull if they have a poor cut. Lastly, it is difficult to find a Santa Maria aquamarine in large carat sizes. Half a carat is about the largest size for an average stone. However, LEIBISH is fortunate enough to possess a 1.23-carat Santa Maria oval-shaped aquamarine gemstone.
Sources for Aquamarine Gemstones
Aquamarine can be found in most locations where regular beryl is unearthed. The original mine that gave birth to the Santa Maria aquamarine has been nearly exhausted of its aquamarine findings, which is why many of today’s Santa Maria aquamarine stones come from various African countries. Mining aquamarine is a lengthy and tiring process, which is part of what makes these gemstones so special.
In addition to being a beautiful gemstone with a stunning color, the aquamarine gemstone is also the modern birthstone for March. Some also have a custom to give this gem as a 19th wedding anniversary gift. There are even those who believe that aquamarine stones have the ability to cure ailments such as thyroid problems and swollen glands. Whether you are in the market for a Santa Maria aquamarine gemstone in order to introduce something unique into your collection, you are looking for a meaningful birthday or wedding anniversary gift, or you would like to try your hand at an unconventional method of healing chronic pain, you will be pleased with the many benefits of the aquamarine stone and its unparalleled beauty.