Beryl, the family of minerals to which both aquamarine beads and its upscale cousin emerald belong, is naturally colourless in its pure form. However, the presence of various inclusions generates a rich proliferation of highly diverse colour profiles. For example, trace amounts of chromium cause deep green hues to emerge in the bead (resulting in emerald), while aquamarine’s blue-green character is the product of iron inclusions in the bead.
While it has long been popular to subject raw aquamarine to extreme heat and irradiation which increase transparency and rid the stone of any greens or yellows, there has recently been resurgence in popularity of the natural milky variety. If the stone hasn’t been heated it will also be more durable, and with a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale that means quite durable indeed.
Aquamarine (from the Latin aqua marina- ‘water of the sea’) has been thought to aid one’s communication skills, and assist in laying the emotional foundations for a happy and healthy marriage.