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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Beryl ( var. aquamarine)

Photograph of aquamarine gem (NMNH G3889) and crystal (115228)
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
SpecimenCatalog NumberLocality
Beryl (var. aquamarine)NMNH G3889-00Minas Gerais, Brazil
Beryl (var. aquamarine)NMNH 115228-00Brazil

Gift of Dr. W. Langer and Evyan Perfumes, Inc. in 1963.

Aquamarine, as the name suggests, is the sea-blue variety of the mineral beryl. Its color depends on the relative amounts of impurities of iron. Heating removes the green tones, resulting in a more pure shade of blue. Deep blue is the most highly prized color for the gem. The large aquamarine crystal shown here weighs 15,256ct (131 kg or 6.7 lbs). Its near perfect shape and few internal flaws indicate that it grew in ideal conditions. Large aquamarine crystals of this quality and color are rarely preserved; usually they are cut in to gems like the one seen here. This 1,000ct fancy rectangular-cut aquamarine from Brazil is nicknamed “Most Precious” after a perfume created by its donors, Evyan Perfumes, Inc.



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