Nampula Aquamarine are stunning ‘robin’s egg’ blue gemstones from Mozambique’s Nampula Province, a country noted for yielding fine Aquamarines. While Aquamarine is hugely popular and a gem most people immediately find attractive, it’s more intense colors as exemplified by our Nampula Aquamarine are extremely beautiful, genuinely rare and highly coveted.
Hardness 7.5 – 8
Refractive Index 1.562 – 1.602
Relative Density 2.71 – 2.90
Related to Emerald and Morganite, Nampula Aquamarine is named for its locality. Nampula Aquamarines are pure robin’s egg blue, with a medium tone and saturation that is not too dark or too light. While Aquamarines’ quintessential ‘classic’ pastel blues are the norm for this gemstone, Nampula Aquamarines’ greater tone and saturation is indicative of a fine quality that is extremely valued and collectable.
As color is the most important consideration for Aquamarine, expert lapidary that accentuates color is critical. Nampula Aquamarine displays a desirable even color, good brilliance, eye-clean clarity (the highest clarity quality grade for colored gemstones) and excellent scintillation (play of light).
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.
In fact, ‘Santa Maria’ (rare, intensely deep blue Aquamarine from Brazil’s Santa Maria de Itabira deposit; discovered in the 50s, it is virtually depleted with only sporadic mining occurring) colors have also been found in Mozambique (circa 1991) and in other African countries such as Zambia. This has resulted in the trade names ‘Santa Maria Africana’ and ‘Santa Maria Afrique’. Rarely found in larger ‘gem quality’ sizes in any location, Aquamarine in its deeper colors is not continuously produced, keeping it in high demand.
Nampula Aquamarine is from a deposit 60 kilometers outside Nampula, the capital city of Mozambique’s Nampula Province, an area rich in gemstones. Aquamarine from this source remains scarce and challenging to source, particularly in the finer qualities typified by our Nampula Aquamarine.
Durability & Care
Nampula Aquamarine (Mohs’ Hardness: 7.5 – 8) is an excellent choice for everyday jewelry. Always store Nampula 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.