Aquamarine is exceptionally hard and has an outstanding vitreous glass-like luster. Aquamarine, and other types of beryl are quite durable and hard, ranging from 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. It is most famous for its breathtaking sea-blue colors which can range from pale light blue to medium-dark blue. The name 'aquamarine' was derived from an old Latin expression which meant 'seawater'.
Aquamarine and emerald belong to the same family, but they are surprisingly different. Aquamarine and emerald are both beryllium aluminum silicates, but emerald is colored by trace amounts of chromium (and sometimes vanadium), while aquamarine obtains its color from iron impurities within colorless beryl (Goshenite).
The leading producer of aquamarine is Brazil, with many mines spread throughout the country.