Lundazi Aquamarine is a pastel blue gemstone from the Lundazi District in Zambia’s Eastern Province. Aptly exhibiting this gem’s oceanic air, Lundazi Aquamarine’s ‘classic’ color combined with its durability, makes for a highly desirable gemstone.
Hardness 7.5 - 8
Refractive Index 1.562- 1.602
Relative Density 2.71 - 2.90
Related to Emerald and Golden Beryl, Lundazi Aquamarine is named for its locality. Lundazi Aquamarine embodies Aquamarines’ quintessential ‘classic’ pastel blues, for which this beautiful gemstone is famous. Hugely popular, Aquamarine is a gem most people immediately find attractive. The crisp cleanness of Aquamarine’s blues as well as its semblance to the sea, conveys for many feelings of calm and tranquility.
As color is the most important consideration for Aquamarine, expert lapidary that accentuates color is critical. When faceted, Lundazi Aquamarine displays a desirable even color, good brilliance and excellent scintillation (play of light). When cut as cabochons (cut in convex form and highly polished, but not faceted), Lundazi Aquamarine exhibits an excellent finish, proportion and shape.
Coined by the Romans over 2,000 years ago, Aquamarine literally means ‘water of the sea’ in Latin, from the words ‘aqua’ (water) and ‘marina’ (sea). March’s birthstone, Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl mineral family (from the ancient Greek ‘beryllos’, meaning blue-green stone), commonly known as the ‘mother of gemstones’ because of its highly regarded gem varieties. Pure Beryl is colorless and trace amounts of elements are responsible for producing Beryl’s wonderful colors. Apart from Aquamarine blues, other Beryl gemstones include, Bixbite reds, Emerald greens, Golden Beryl yellows, Goshenite whites (colorless), Heliodor greenish-yellows, and Morganite pinks.
Ranging in color from pastel to intense deep blues, sometimes with splashes of green, Aquamarine is colored by trace amounts of iron. Prior to Aquamarine’s modern African discoveries (circa 1830), Brazil and Russia produced the finest quality. While Brazil is still a major supplier, today, African nations including, Nigeria, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zambia supply equally beautiful Aquamarines.
Lundazi Aquamarine comes from the Lundazi District in Zambia’s Eastern Province. Lundazi is Zambia’s gemstone capital in the Eastern Province and has a long history of Aquamarine and Tourmaline mining. The area has been worked for Aquamarine since the 50s and many of the mines are located only a short distance from the town. Numerous pegmatites containing gem-quality Aquamarine, Spessartite and Tourmaline occur in a large area west and southwest of Lundazi, and east of the Luangwa River. The mines are typically open pits following pegmatite veins and are usually no more than 200 meters long. With over 90 percent of gemstones treated, Lundazi Aquamarine is one of the few gemstones that are not enhanced.
Durability & Care
Lundazi Aquamarine (Mohs’ Hardness: 7.5 – 8) is an excellent choice for everyday jewelry. Always store Lundazi Aquamarine carefully to avoid scuffs and scratches. Clean with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth.