Aquamarine (derived from the Latin words for water and sea) is the blue to blue-green variety of beryl created when iron intrudes into channels formed in the molecular structure. Legend has it that wearing aquamarine ensures a long and happy marriage. Since treatment of this gem does not intensify or add color, dark colored aquamarine is very rare, and not often available. These gems are found in many parts of the world, but the majority of commercial production occurs in Brazil and East Africa. The Santa Maria mine in Brazil has historically been one of the most significant sources of fine quality aquamarine. This mine, located near Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais is an extensive commercial beryllium mine that also contains gem quality crystals. While not currently in production, thousands of kilos of high-grade aquamarine have been produced from this mine alone.
Aquamarine has a hardness of 7 which makes it suitable for most jewelry.
Treatments: Heating at low temperatures removes the yellow component of color, leaving the stone icy blue.