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Beryl var: Aquamarine

Posted by Harjo Neutkens  
avatar Beryl var: Aquamarine
April 26, 2011 07:43PM
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Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?

A variety of Beryl Be3Al2Si6O18 Hexagonal

Aquamarine, 18,3cm tall. Haramosh Mountains, Pakistan© Rob Lavinsky

Aquamarine derives its name from the Latin name Aqua Marina, meaning "Sea Water", because of it's splendid blue colour.
The colour can come in many shades of blue; light blue, deep blue, green-blue, and many shades in between. The colour is caused by trivalent Iron (Fe3+) and/or divalent Iron (Fe2+) occupying different positions in the lattice structure.
The habit of Aquamarine varies from needles through elongated prisms to tabular habits. Crystals can be found free-standing in vugs or embedded in host rock, sometimes as parallel grown or radial aggregates.
Aquamarines can be found in pegmatite occurrences, Alpine-type clefts, pneumatolythic occurrences and alluvial gem gravels.
The size of the crystals ranges from micro crystals of less then a mm, up to crystals in excess of 100kg. The largest cut gems weigh over a 1000ct.

Konar Province, Chapa Dara District, Dara-i-Pech pegmatite field

Aquamarine, 4cm© 2002 John H. Betts
Aquamarine 4,4cm© Russell G. Rizzo

Be-Nb-Ta-Li-rich pegmatites, hosted in a variety of lithologies. There are two types of pegmatites found within the ore field: (1) large albitized microcline pegmatites with beryl, and (2) spodumene-albite pegmatites with complex Li-Be mineralization.

Pech, Peech and Dara-i-Pech (also spelled Darra-i-Pech, Darrah Pech, and sometimes Page) are the same place. "Dara" means "valley", so in English the location name is "Pech Valley". Likewise, specimens labelled as coming from Dara-i-Pech do not necessarily come from this pegmatite field, but may originate from any place in the Pech valley. This area icludes Chapa Dara, Dara-i-Pech, Wata Pur and Asadabad Districts in Konar Province, as well as Wama District in Nuristan Province.
Further note that many Afghanis will still use the name "Nuristan" in a traditional sense, to mean all of northeastern Afghanistan. This traditional meaning of the place name "Nuristan" is not to be confused with the current Nuristan Province, which covers only a portion of "Nuristan" in the traditional sense. Moreover, there also exists a Nuristan District, which covers a minor part of southern Nuristan Province.

Laghman Province (Lagman Province; Nuristan)

Aquamarine, 3,7cm© 2003 John H. Betts
Aquamarine 3,2cm© 2003 John H. Betts

NOTE: Nuristan province sensu stricto became officially recognised in 2001 (wikipedia) or 2004 (statoids.com), but was already known for 10 years. It was formed from the northern parts of Laghman Province and Konar (Kunar) Province.
The capital of the Nuristan Province is Nuristan.
"Nuristan" is also the traditional name for the region that encompasses these three current provinces (i.e., NE Afghanistan) and the name is still often used in that fashion.

Córdoba, Dumesnil, La Esperanza Quarry

Aquamarine, 3,4cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aqua, 3,6cm© Rob Lavinsky

Locality for nice etched Aquamarine crystals.

New South Wales, Clive Co., Torrington

Aquamarine, 3,8cm© www.australiancrystals.com.au
Aquamarine, 3,8cm© Jon Mommers

There are over 35 Beryl occurrences in Torrington-Emmaville districts of the New England region, and many fine Beryl specimens have been mined since its discovery in the 1890's (whilst prospecting for tin, bismuth and tungsten).
Beryl crystals up to 30cm have been found, sometimes in excellent quality.

Northern Territory, Harts Ranges (Hartz Ranges), Harding Springs

Aquamarine, 14cm© Patrick Gundersen
Aquamarine, 6cm© Patrick Gundersen

Pegmatite district, with pegmatites originally mined for mica. Beryl crystals over 30cm in length have been reported.

Carinthia, Hohe Tauern, Reißeck group, Pusarnitz, Hintereggengraben

Crystals up to 0,5cm© Rudo
Aquamarine xls 0,5cm © Rudo

The mountain ridge between Böser Nase and Hochegg in Hintereggengraben which has become famous because of its excellent Sceptre Quartzes is also known as location for nice Aquamarine crystals. The numerous alpine clefts in that region mostly produce Smoky Quartz together with black Tourmaline needles. Sometimes but very rarely a cleft also has some tiny Aquamarine crystals that are often not seen by the collectors.

Salzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Felben valley, Scheelite deposit, Western ore field

Aquamarine, 3,4cm© mslama
Aquamarine, 1,97cm© mslama

Scheelite deposit, currently mined underground. Strikingly deep blue Aquamarines have been found, usually accompanied by Molybdenite and Scheelite.

Salzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Hollersbach and Habach valleys, Schafkopf/Breitkopf Mts area

Aquamarine, 6cm© Harjo
Aquamarine, 1cm© Harjo

Aquamarine in clefts in Gneisses, or Aquamarine in masses of smoky Quartz veins.

Bahia, Guaratinga (Jaquetô)

Aqua, 4,7cm© Kristalle and Crys
Aquamarine, 1,5cm© Kristalle and Crys

Aquamarine, 4,7cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aquamarine, 18cm© Rob Lavinsky

In 1990 a pocket was found containing approximately 100kg of very fine blue-green crystals, showing negative corrosion patterns, and with pencil like terminations [Luiz A. Menezes, ExtraLapis Beryl]

Espírito Santo, Mimoso do Sul, Mimoso do Sul Mine

Specimen 9x5cm© www.exceptionalminerals.com
Specimen 4,8cm© fabreminerals.com

Concordia mine exploits the main pegmatite. In 1990 very nice single crystals and excellent clusters composed of tapered prisms.

Minas Gerais, Doce Valley

Aquamarine 3cm© fabreminerals.com
Aquamarine 7cm© Russell G. Rizzo

Specimen 17,2cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aqua 8,4cm© Weinrich Minerals, Inc.

Several pegmatites have produced large Beryl crystals, sometimes with water-clear "eyes" inside of them. In 1992 an Aquamarine crystal measuring 1x0,5 meters, weighing 400kg, showing a perfect termination. It now resides in the Kanagawa Prefecture Museum in Tokyo, Japan. [Luiz A. Menezes, ExtraLapis Beryl]

Minas Gerais, Jequitinhonha valley

Aquamarine 8cm and 5,5cm© Kuno Stoeckli
Aquamarine 5,5 and 7,6cm© Kuno Stoeckli

Aquamarine 3cm© 2001 John H. Betts
Aquamarine 6cm© 2003 John H. Betts

Aquamarine 4,5cm© 2002 John H. Betts
Aquamarine 4,5cm© Joseph A. Freilich

Aquamarine 16,2cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aqua 6,5cm© fabreminerals.com

Aquamarine 24,5cm© Mario Pauwels
Aqua 4,7cm© Danny Jones

The Serinha deposit has produced important quantities of gem grade Aquamarine. In 1998, a small unnamed pegmatite in the area produced some of the world's best Aquamarine crystals. Clear, blue prismatic crystals up to 30cm in length, with pencil-like terminations. [Luiz A. Menezes, ExtraLapis Beryl]

Minas Gerais, Medina

Aquamarine 21,1cm© Mario Pauwels
Aquamarine 5,2cm© CCURTO08


Minas gerais, Mucuri valley, Teófilo Otoni

Aquamarine 12,3cm© fabreminerals.com
Aquamarine 5,3cm© fabreminerals.com


Burma (Myanmar)
Mandalay Division, Sagaing District, Mogok

Aquamarine 2,7cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aquamarine 5,1cm© Eric Graff


Sichuan Province, Mianyang Prefecture, Pingwu Co., Mt Xuebaoding

Specimen 6,5x4,3cm© Jiangbin
Specimen 18,5x11cm© Oleg Lopatkin

Specimen 10x6,6cm© Rob Lavinsky
Specimen 3x3cm© Sarah Sudcowsky

Aquamarine 1,3cm© Chinellato Matteo
Specimen 5,x4,2cm© Collectors Edge


Yunnan Province, Nujiang Autonomous Prefecture, Gaoligong Mts (Gaoligong Shan)

Specimen 8x6cm© rare-X.com
Specimen 2,9x2,7cm© Jiangbin

Highlands west of the Nu river (Nu Jiang) valley.
Located in northwestern Yunnan Province, close to the border to Myanmar (Burma).

Tamil Nadu

Emperor of India 32x16cm© J.Ralph
Aquamarine 5cm© Martins da Pedra


Lombardy, Sondrio Province, Novate Mezzola, Codera Valley

Aquamarine 5cm© Chinellato Matteo

Important Alpine locality for excellent Aquamarine crystals.

Trentino-Alto Adige, Bolzano Province (South Tyrol), Vizze Valley (Pfitsch Valley), Griesferner glacier

Aquamarine spray 0,7cm© Chinellato Matteo
Aquamarine 1cm© Chinellato Matteo

Locality for Alpine cleft Aquamarine.

Tuscany, Livorno Province, Elba Island, Campo nell'Elba, San Piero in Campo, Grotta d'Oggi Quarry

Aquamarine 0,5cm© Chinellato Matteo
Aquamarine 2cm© Sarah Sudcowsky

This is the old quarry from where a lot of the best elbaites and tourmalines from Isola Elba, Italy, have been recovered during the 19th century.
Located near a magnesite quarry, was opened in 1825.

Tuscany, Lucca Province, Apuan Alps, Stazzema, Ponte Stazzemese, Buca della Vena Mine

Aquamarine 3cm© Marco Barsanti
Aquamarine 0,6cm© Chinellato Matteo

The Buca della Vena mine was exploited for barite and Fe-oxides up to 1988. The mineralization is hosted within two carbonatic lenses of dolomitic metalimestones of Upper Triassic age (Grezzoni formation) and marble of Liassic age (Marble formation), interbedded with lenses of phyllites. The ore body and the hosted rocks show evidences of deformations which have been referred to a first compressive tectonic phase dating back 26 m.y.. Measured homogenization temperature in beryl crystals from the ore body ranged from 250° to 340° C, in good agreement with the metamorphic grade of the area (greenschist facies).
Carmignani et al. (1972, 1976) considered this deposit to be a metasomatic replacement of carbonate rocks, genetically connected to a hypothetical synkinematic intrusive body.
According to Cortecci et al. (1985), on the other hand, on the basis of isotope analysis of sulfates and sulfides, concluded that the deposit is sedimentary in origin and was subsequently metamorphosed and partly remobilized during the Tertiary Appenninic orogeny.

Karagandy Province (Qaragandy Oblysy; Karaganda Oblast'), Ortau

Aquamarine 1,3cm© Igor Savin
Aquamarine 2,6cm© Igor Savin


Fianarantsoa Province, Atsimo-Atsinanana Region, Befotaka District

Aquamarine© J.Ralph
Aquamarine 7,7cm© J.Scovil

Up to 7,7 cm x 4,1 cm gemmy beryl (variety aquamarine) crystals was reported in 2009 from an undisclosed pegmatite in the Befotaka district by Spirifer minerals.

Hutag Ull Ord

Aquamarine 6,5cm© Zbynek Burival
Aquamarine 4,3cm© Vitezslav Snasel

Be-pegmatites in northern Mongolia.

Zambezia Province, Alto Ligonha District

Aquamarine 2,5cm© Martins da Pedra
Aquamarine 3cm© Martins da Pedra

Nb-Ta pegmatite district.

Erongo Region

Aquamarine 1,2cm© Vítězslav Snášel

3,6cm© Rob Lavinsky
7,8cm© fabreminerals.com

4,1cm© Rob Lavinsky
12cm© Kuno Stoeckli

6,2cm© Rob Lavinsky
6,1cm© Rob Lavinsky

The Erongo is the largest of the late-mesozoic alkaline complexes of central-west Namibia. Situated on the fringes of the Namib Desert between Usakos and Omaruru, rising to 2319m and 40km diameter.
Very nice Aquamarine crystals have been found in the region, especially at Erongo Mountain, Davib East Farm, Klein Spitzkopje and Tubussis Farm. Also very nice combo specimens of Aquamarine with Schorl and sometimes Fluorite have been found.

Mechi Zone, Taplejung District, Mechi Zone

12,4cm© www.exceptionalminerals.com
Aquamarine, Muscovite 8cm© Oleg Lopatkin

Aquamarine etc 9cm© A&M
Aquamarine, Albite 9,5cm© Oleg Lopatkin

Info needed

Plateau State, Jos Plateau

Aquamarine 3,5cm© Tony H Gill
Aquamarine 5cm© Rob Lavinsky


Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Skardu District

9cm© J.Scovil
Aquamarine, Albite 5,5cm© Mark Mauthner

Aquamarine, Albite14cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aquamarine 32,5cm© Rob Lavinsky

Aquamarine, Albite 16cm© Mario Pauwels
Aquamarine 6cm© Brian Kosnar

Aquamarine 18,3cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aquamarine 8,6cm© fabreminerals.com

4,5cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aquamarine 6,9cm© Rob Lavinsky

Aquamarine 5,6cm© Kuno Stoeckli

6cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aquamarine 6cm© Kristalle and Crys

10cm© John Betts
Aquamarine 6cm© H. Obodda


Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Gilgit District

Aquamarine, Apatite, Muscovite 7cm© www.exceptionalminerals.com

7cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aquamarine, Muscovite 14,2cm© Rob Lavinsky

14,5cm© www.exceptionalminerals.com
Aquamarine 8cm© H. Obodda

Aquamarine, Apatite, Muscovite 18,4cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aquamarine 10cm©

23,5cm© www.exceptionalminerals.com
Aquamarine, Fluorite 25cm© www.exceptionalminerals.com

Aquamarine 11cm© Rudo
Aquamarine 14cm© Rob Lavinsky

12,5cm© Stephen Pochek
Aquamarine 8,2cm© Rob Lavinsky


Viseu District, Sátão, Ferreira de Aves, Aldeia Nova, Assunção Mine

30cm© Martins da Pedra
9,2cm© Rui Nunes 2011

Pegmatite mine known for exceptionally large, up to 2 metres tall, Aquamarine crystals.

Eastern-Siberian Region, Transbaikalia (Zabaykalye), Chitinskaya Oblast', Nerchinsk (Nertschinsk), Nerchinsk Gem mines, Adun-Chilon Range

Aquamarine, Quartz 5,5cm© Oleg Lopatkin
Aquamarine 8,5cm© Oleg Lopatkin

Aquamarine 10cm© J.Ralph
12,5cm© Weinrich Minerals, Inc.


Urals Region, Middle Urals, Sverdlovskaya Oblast', Sarapulka District (Murzinka), Murzinka Mine (Mursinsk; Murzinsk; Murzinska)

Aquamarine, Quartz 9,7cm© Rob Lavinsky
Aquamarine 3,2cm© Tony H Gill

Famous granite pegmatite district. Labels may be using very old information and specimens with the locality information may be for specimens actually from Alabashka in the north to Sarapulsk to the south (Scalisi and Cook, 1983).

Extremadura, Badajoz, Valle de la Serena, Osa Quarry

Aquamarine 8cm© Carlos Pareja Photo
Aquamarine 1,1cm© bsb


United Kingdom
Northern Ireland, Co. Down, Mourne Mts.

Aquamarine 5cm©
Aquamarine 4,3cm©


Work in progress

Edited 135 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2014 03:53PM by Debbie Woolf.
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
April 27, 2011 06:16AM
You have taken on a big project here. I wish you good fortune in its progress which I shall watch with interest.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
April 27, 2011 09:57AM
Thanks Rock.
It will take some time, in between I still have to play some concerts, and next weekend I have CD recordings.
But every now and then I'll add some stuff to the article.


avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
November 19, 2011 09:27PM

There are some great aquamarines found in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, USA:

© Wm. C. van Laer
© Wm. C. van Laer
© Wm. C. van Laer
© Wm. C. van Laer
© Wm. C. van Laer
© Wm. C. van Laer

William C. (CHRIS) van Laer: "I'm using the chicken to measure it..."
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
November 19, 2011 10:56PM
HOLY SMOKES! Amazing. I wish I could contribute something comparable!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/2011 11:00PM by John Montgomery.
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
November 20, 2011 02:22AM
Here are three images of the new aquamarines from Huanggang Mine, Hexigten Banner (Keshiketeng Co.), Ulanhad League (Chifeng Prefecture), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China.

Unlike most other aquamarines which tend to be found in workings exploiting pegmatites, these come from an iron mine exploiting a skarn body. There have been a very small quantity of single crystals, usually double terminated, and most display lighter blue rinds with deeper blue cores (see third image). There have been an even smaller number of clusters, and I have only seen (but I have no pictures) about 2 matrix pieces, though the crystals tend to be very narrow, often broken, and are not much to look at....
open | download - guanggang1.JPG (64 KB)
open | download - huanggang2.JPG (40.6 KB)
open | download - IMG_7281.JPG (57.2 KB)
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
November 21, 2011 05:17AM
At least one of those images will most likely make its way into the best minerals article, but you will have to first upload them officially to the Mindat Image gallery. Do you know how to do this? Would you like me to point you to some instructions that will explain how to do this in detail? Do you understand why this should be done rather than giving them here as just an attachment to a message?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
November 21, 2011 05:18AM
Bill, Ill bet Harjo will put at least one of your images into the article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
November 21, 2011 06:51AM
Of course!
As soon as I get to the USA section Chris' Sawtooth photos will get a prominent place.
I haven't had a lot of time to work on the article (too many concerts) but I think I can resume working on it halfway December.
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
May 20, 2012 04:58PM

Although the Aquamarine specimen is the smallest piece in my collection it is still one of my favorites. It is an alpine one that I collected in Hintereggengraben, Carinthia. With a length of 0,5cm the crystal is probably too small for your article but its color and terminations are so phantastic that I have to show it to you.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2012 05:01PM by Rudolf Hasler.
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
May 21, 2012 11:32AM
We generally only use images that show the entire specimen. Also your aqua appears to be be taken with UV light? We would need a picture with regular lighting. Occasionally we will also use a UV image of the same specimen to accompany the one with regular light.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
May 21, 2012 02:49PM
I have taken a new picture of the aqua just now. I never use UV light. It is the real incredible color that makes that tiny piece to one of my favorites. Some years ago I was offered an unbelievable amount of money for such a tiny thing by a local collector.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2012 04:08PM by Rudolf Hasler.
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
May 22, 2012 09:16AM
Ill leave it up to Harjo if he wants to use your beryl image in his article.

I put it into photoshop and lightened up the image some, but did not change the image you up loaded. Here is your image:

© Rudo

and here is the image that I lightened up in Photoshop.

I think the images I see on my monitor are darker than on other monitors. How do they look on your monitor. Which one looks better?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
May 22, 2012 12:38PM
On my monitor the 1st (my) image looks better. I am not an expert on PCs at all but could it be that you have to adjust the color settings?

avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
May 22, 2012 02:16PM
Na klar soll der drinne winking smiley
It's already in the article. Beautiful find!
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
May 22, 2012 06:16PM
Danke, Harjo!
I am happy that you put that one into the article as it is a real favorite of me.
That it does not stand there alone I have added another pic and some information.
I hope you do not mind.



Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2012 04:16AM by Rudolf Hasler.
avatar Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
March 31, 2014 09:16PM
Dear friends,

Many, many things came in between, but I finally found the courage to continue the Aquamarine article smiling smiley
Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
March 31, 2014 11:47PM

DT Crystal 2.7 cm Wide, 2.23 cm Deep, 10.16 cm Tall
Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
March 31, 2014 11:54PM

3.81 cm Wide, 3.175 cm Deep, 13.97 cm Tall
Jeff Scovil photo.
Re: Beryl var: Aquamarine
March 31, 2014 11:59PM

4.45 cm Wide, 3.18 cm Deep, 8.26 cm Tall


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