Category Archives: Gems Education

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March

mysticalaquamarine

Aquamarine is a relatively common gemstone, and is affordable in lighter colors. Deeper colors can command high prices. Some enormous transparent crystal masses of Aquamarine have been found, and exquisite gems weighing thousands of carats have been cut from them.

The light blue to blue-green color of Aquamarine may fade upon prolonged exposure to light, so it is especially important to purchase this gem from a reliable dealer. Aquamarine is a hard and durable gem, but it may develop internal cracks if banged hard.

Light blue Topaz is easily mistaken for Aquamarine. The colors of these two gems can be identical, and their physical properties are very similar. Topaz is generally less expensive, and some fraudulent dealers may sell their Topaz as Aquamarine.

Unlike Emerald, Aquamarine gems are often completely flawless. Aquamarines with visible flaws are rarely seen. The costs of producing synthetic Aquamarine are very high when compared to the relative abundance of this gem, so synthetic Aquamarine is generally not produced for the gemstone market.

March Birthstone Aquamarine – transparent gem with a greenish-blue tint. This is a variety of beryl. As a talisman, March Birthstone aquamarine can protect the happiness of the spouses. Most of aquamarine jewelry as a sign of eternal love exchanged between people who love each other.

This March Birthstone will save us from disaster in the water. March Birthstone Aquamarine makes man more courageous and can alert their owner the dangers threatening it, changing its color. In addition March Birthstone aquamarine can ease the pain throat and teeth.

Treasure of the sea

The word aquamarine means sea water and some legends consider aquamarine
to be the treasure of mermaids. Aquamarine has an element of mysticism
and magic. It is said that if you dream about it, you will meet new friends.

Mystical magic

A beautiful stone that sits perfectly in jewellery, whether it is a necklace,
ring or earrings, aquamarine is also said to have many
mystical characteristics. Reputedly soothing, particularly for married
couples to work out their differences, aquamarine also wards
off the devil.

The color of the sea

The March birthstone, aquamarine, is always pastel blue,
although the darker the colour the more valuable
the stone.

Colours, names and nicknames

In order to understand this variety of colour, you will have to brush up your knowledge of gemmology a little: tourmalines are mixed crystals of aluminium boron silicate with a complex and changing composition. The mineral group is a fairly complex one. Even slight changes in the composition cause completely different colours. Crystals of only a single colour are fairly rare; indeed the same crystal will often display various colours and various nuances of those colours. And the trademark of this gemstone is not only its great wealth of colour, but also its marked dichroism. Depending on the angle from which you look at it, the colour may be different or more or less intense. It is always at its most intense when viewed looking toward the main axis, a fact to which the cutter must pay great attention when lining up the cut. This gemstone has excellent wearing qualities and is easy to look after, for all tourmalines have a good hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. So the tourmaline is an interesting gemstone in many ways.

TIn the trade, the individual colour variants have their own names. For example, a tourmaline of an intense red is known as a ‘rubellite’, but only if it continues to display the same fine ruby red in artificial light as it did in daylight. If the colour changes when the light source does, the stone is called a pink or shocking pink tourmaline. In the language of the gemmologists, blue tourmalines are known as ‘indigolites’, yellowish-brown to dark brown ones as ‘dravites’ and black ones as ‘schorl’. The last mentioned, mostly used for engravings and in esotericism, is said to have special powers with which people can be protected from harmful radiation.

One particularly popular variety is the green Tourmaline, known as a ‘verdelite’ in the trade. However, if its fine emerald-like green is caused by tiny traces of chrome, it is referred to as a ‘chrome tourmaline’. The absolute highlight among the tourmalines is the ‘Paraiba tourmaline’, a gemstone of an intense blue to blue-green which was not discovered until 1987 in a mine in the Brazilian state of Paraiba. In good qualities, these gemstones are much sought-after treasures today. Since tourmalines from Malawi with a vivid yellow colour, known as ‘canary tourmalines’, came into the trade, the colour yellow, which was previously very scarce indeed, has been very well represented in the endless spectrum of colours boasted by the ‘gemstone of the rainbow’.

Yet the tourmaline has even more names: stones with two colours are known as bicoloured tourmalines, and those with more than two as multicoloured tourmalines. Slices showing a cross-section of the tourmaline crystal are also very popular because they display, in a very small area, the whole of the incomparable colour variety of this gemstone. If the centre of the slice is red and the area around it green, the stone is given the nickname ‘water melon’. On the other hand, if the crystal is almost colourless and black at the ends only, it is called a ‘Mohrenkopf’, (resembling a certain kind of cake popular in Germany).

Tourmalines are found almost all over the world. There are major deposits in Brazil, Sri Lanka and South and south-west Africa. Other finds have been made in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Tourmalines are also found in the USA, mainly in California and Maine. Although there are plenty of gemstone deposits which contain tourmalines, good qualities and fine colours are not often discovered among them. For this reason, the price spectrum of the tourmaline is almost as broad as that of its colour.

TOURMALINE

Tourmaline
Tourmaline
Tourmaline
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Paraiba Tourmaline
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Indigo Blue Tourmaline
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Pink Tourmaline
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Rubellite
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Green Tourmaline
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Rubellite
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Rubellite

Note: custom made sizes, shapes and cuttings are available on request.

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Aquamarine is a fascinatingly beautiful gemstone

Aquamarine is a relatively common gemstone, and is affordable in lighter colors. Deeper colors can command high prices. Some enormous transparent crystal masses of Aquamarine have been found, and exquisite gems weighing thousands of carats have been cut from them.

The light blue to blue-green color of Aquamarine may fade upon prolonged exposure to light, so it is especially important to purchase this gem from a reliable dealer. Aquamarine is a hard and durable gem, but it may develop internal cracks if banged hard.

Light blue Topaz is easily mistaken for Aquamarine. The colors of these two gems can be identical, and their physical properties are very similar. Topaz is generally less expensive, and some fraudulent dealers may sell their Topaz as Aquamarine.

Unlike Emerald, Aquamarine gems are often completely flawless. Aquamarines with visible flaws are rarely seen. The costs of producing synthetic Aquamarine are very high when compared to the relative abundance of this gem, so synthetic Aquamarine is generally not produced for the gemstone market.

Localities and occurrence

Topaz is commonly associated with silicic igneous rocks of the granite and rhyolite type. It typically crystallizes in granitic pegmatites or in vapor cavities in rhyolite lava flows like those at Topaz Mountain in western Utah. It may be found with fluorite and cassiterite. It can be found in the Ural and Ilmen mountains, Afghanistan, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.

Topaz crystals from Brazilian pegmatites are up to 80 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm in size. The biggest topaz crystal ever found, named “El Dorado”, was found in Brazil in 1984. It weighs 6.2 kg and belongs to the British Royal Collection. The famous Braganza diamond is in most likelihood a Topaz. The Topaz of Aurungzebe, observed by Jean Baptiste Tavernier measured 157.75 carats.

Treatments

When heated, yellow topaz often becomes reddish-pink. The color change upon heating was first discovered by a Parisian jeweler around 1750. In particular the yellow Topaz of Brazil has been known to be treated frequently, by wrapping Topaz in Asbestos. Only stones of a brown-yellow color yield the pink; the pale yellow ones usually turn white. The pink color is stable. [1]. Topaz can also be irradiated, turning the stone blue, ranging from a light pure color to very dark almost electric blue. A recent trend in jewelry is the manufacture of topaz specimens that display iridescent colors, by applying a thin layer of titanium oxide via physical vapor deposition, this stone is then sold as ‘mystic topaz’.

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An Overview of Topaz

Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine with the chemical formula Al2SiO4(F,OH)2. It crystallizes in the orthorhombic group and its crystals are mostly prismatic terminated by pyramidal and other faces, the basal pinacoid often being present. It has an easy and perfect basal cleavage, meaning that gemstones or other fine specimens have to be handled with care to avoid developing cleavage flaws. The fracture is conchoidal to uneven. Topaz has a hardness of 8, a specific gravity of 3.4–3.6, and a vitreous luster. Pure topaz is transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine or straw-yellow. They may also be white, gray, green, blue, pink or reddish-yellow and transparent or translucent.

Treatments applied to gemstones

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Gemstones are often treated to enhance the color or clarity of the stone. Depending on the type and extent of treatment, they can affect the value of the stone. Some treatments are used widely and accepted in practice because the resulting gem is stable, while others are not accepted most commonly because the gem color is unstable and may revert to the original tone.[11]

Heat

Heat can improve gemstone color or clarity. Most Citrine is made by heating amethyst, and partial heating with a strong gradient results in ametrine – a stone partly amethyst and partly citrine. Much Aquamarine is heat treated to remove yellow tones, change the green color into the more desirable blue or enhance its existing blue color to a purer blue. [12] Nearly all Tanzanite is heated at low temperatures to remove brown undertones and give a more desirable blue/purple color. A considerable portion of all sapphire and ruby is treated with a variety of heat treatments to improve both color and clarity.

Radiation

Most blue topaz, both the lighter and the darker blue shades such as “London” blue, has been irradiated to change the color from white to blue. Some improperly handled gems which do not pass through normal legal channels may have a slight residual radiation, though strong requirements on imported stones are in place to ensure public safety. Most greened quartz (Oro Verde) is also irradiated to achieve the yellow-green color.

Waxing/oiling

Emeralds containing natural fissures are sometimes filled with wax or oil to disguise them. This wax or oil is also colored to make the emerald appear of better color as well as clarity. Turquoise is also commonly treated in a similar manner.

Fracture Filling

Fracture filling has been in use with different gemstones such as Diamonds, Emeralds, Sapphires. More recently (in 2006) “Glass Filled Rubies” received a lot of publicity. Rubies over 10 carat (2 g), particularly sold in the Asian market with large fractures were filled with Lead Glass, thus dramatically improving the appearance of larger Rubies in particular. Such treatments are still fairly easy to detect.


Synthetic and artificial gemstones

Some gemstones are manufactured to imitate other gemstones. For example, cubic zirconia is a synthetic diamond simulant composed of zirconium oxide. The imitations copy the look and color of the real stone but possess neither their chemical nor physical characteristics. However, true synthetic gemstones are not necessarily imitation. For example, diamonds, ruby, sapphires and emeralds have been manufactured in labs, which possess very nearly identical chemical and physical characteristics to the naturally occurring variety. Synthetic corundums, including ruby and sapphire, are very common and they cost only a fraction of the natural stones. Smaller synthetic diamonds have been manufactured in large quantities as industrial abrasives for many years. Only recently, larger synthetic diamonds of gemstone quality, especially of the colored variety, have been manufactured.