Aquamarine is the blue to blue-green variety of the Beryl family. Abundantly found, durable (a hardness of 8 on the Mohs hardness scale) and moderately priced, this March birthstone is a popular and excellent gemstone used extensively in the gem/jewelry trade. What makes this gemstone so unique and collectable is that it is often void of any inclusions, making it perfectly water-clear in its transparency. It often occurs in association with Muscovite, Schorl, Albite, Quartz, Feldspar, Microcline and Cleavelandite to name a few.
The crystal system for Aquamarine is hexagonal, often forming perfect six-sided hexagons with flat terminations. Other forms include columnar aggregates, etched crystals, tabular crystals and massive. It often forms in large and strikingly transparent crystals.
The finest Aquamarine specimens generally come from Pakistan. Other notable locations include Brazil, China, Namibia, Russia and the USA (California, Colorado).