Color: light blue to dark blue, blue-green
Moh's hardness: 7.5-8
Aquamarine with its ocean blue color is one of the most popular gemstones, almost as admired as the precious ruby, sapphire and emerald. The name is derived from the Latin "aqua" (water) and "mare" (sea). According to legend, it originated in the treasure chest of mermaids, and has, since ancient times, been regarded as the sailors' lucky stone. Old tradition also promises its wearer a happy marriage and is said to bring the woman who wears it joy and wealth.
As part of the beryl family the aquamarine is related to the emerald. However, the color of aquamarine is usually more even than that of the emerald and is almost entirely free of inclusions. The aquamarine has good hardness (7.5 to 8 on the Moh's scale), which makes it very tough and protects it from scratches. Iron is the substance which gives aquamarine its color, a color which ranges from pale blue to a strong sea-blue and sometimes hints towards green. The more intense the color of an aquamarine, the more valuable it is.
The most important deposits of aquamarine are found throughout Brazil where some of the largest aquamarines of gemstone quality weighing as much as 243 lb (110.5 kg) have been discovered. Other countries where this gem is mined include Russia, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), China, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and the United States.