Aquamarines from Nigeria

Recently Nigeria has been emerging as a gemstone power house. A wide variety of beautiful gems has been found in this African country. For now, let's concentrate on one - the form of the mineral Beryl known as Aqua!

Due to the very included nature of the material, for the stone on the right I cut a steeped table. Click on any of the pictures below to see a close-up shot of each view.

Here are some of the beautiful crystals...
The picture on the left shows the color range of this material. The picture in the middle presents a crystal that is actually bicolored: from the blue of Aquamarine to the pink of Morganite! The last piece is a wonderful Aqua crystal.

Faceting this material was a breeze. I typically use quartz angles for cutting Beryl. I have not yet cabbed any of this material, it looks like it would make great cabochons. I rough cut this material with a 360-grit plate, followed with a fine cut on a 1200-grit plate, and finished with a 14k polish.

Aquamarine has a hardness of about 7.5 to 8, making it more suitable for all types of jewelry.

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