|Moss Aquamarine--bluer color|
I've seen a lot of "Moss Aquamarine" lately, not just on Etsy (although most of it is on Etsy), but some jewelry designers are using it as well---one high-end designer who sells at Saks has a Moss Aquamarine necklace for sale, upwards of $750 (although there are other gemstones in the necklace as well). I first noticed this "moss aqua" a couple of years ago, and its popularity seems to have grown. But what is it?
No Information Anywhere:
But the "moss aquamarine" that I've seen has little dots or specs of dark stuff inside the stone---not really anything like moss agate.
I searched every reputable gem website, and there is absolutely no information about anything called "moss aquamarine". The GIA never heard of it. Nothing at the Institute of Colored Gemstones. Nothing about it on mindat.org which is a website that is "the world's largest public database of mineral information". Nothing at places like Riogrande.com. Google has nothing with the exception of a question someone posed on a website regarding "what is moss aquamarine?" and the responses were---"never heard of it." I even searched on QVC, HSN and JTV and even they don't offer it.
|Moss Agate--greener color|
Yet strands or cabochons of this "moss aquamarine" can mostly be found for sale on Etsy, or from some wholesalers in India, and on Ebay. I have been unable to find "moss aquamarine" loose stones for sale anywhere else.
Is this a real gemstone? Or is this one of those "creative marketing" things?
What is Aquamarine?
Beryl can be found in other colors. In its purest form, it's colorless and known as precious Goshenite.
|Heliodor, Golden Beryl|
Beryl gemstones are expensive, with huge ranges in price depending on the quality of course. Aquamarine grows in huge, transparent crystals, as well as smaller crystals, but most Aquamarine is very transparent. Green Aquamarine is heated to rid the crystal of green tones and it produces the more desirable blue colors.
|WOW!! Aquamarine Crystal (from Pinterest)|
So...What is "Moss Aquamarine"?
It appears to be a very low quality, like B or C grade, Beryl that is more green in color (more green than blue), lots of inclusions, and small specs of Iron within the stone. I have seen some lighter colored "moss aqua" which I assume was heated to remove the green color, or perhaps irradiated. This takes in the assumption that this is, in fact, aquamarine---no one has done any tests on this stone, so really it's just based on what wholesalers are telling consumers, that it's a type of aquamarine (or even beryl).
|Colors of "Moss Aquamarine"|
Plus, a lot of people like the "earthy" or "rustic" quality of this gemstone. It makes a gemstone seem less "pretentious" and has its own charm. And it's always nice to own an aquamarine, the birthstone of March, and this is a more affordable version of this gem.
I would say---buyer beware on this stone! This is definitely "creative marketing" of a type of low-grade gemstone, using the buzzwords of "moss" and definitely "aquamarine" which is a precious gemstone. Just because it's popular and fills a marketing niche, that doesn't mean it is what others claim it to be. Until someone has this stone tested and verified that it is, in fact, aquamarine, or even Beryl, with iron inclusions, I would be careful buying this stone. In other words, I'm not positive that this is even a low-quality aquamarine or beryl---it really could be anything including quartz or something manmade (like "hydro quartz" glass). It's certainly possible it is a beryl stone, but no one has verified it, and no reputable gemstone website or gemologist even recognizes its existence.
To pay many hundreds of dollars for this "moss aquamarine", or even $100, is IMO way too much for this unknown gemstone. If you like the look of this "rustic" included green gem--and many do--then buy it and enjoy it! But I wish jewelry designers and gem sellers would stop trying to cash-in on a popular trend, and instead be responsible and find out exactly what they are selling! But that would require having it tested, and most jewelry designers either just don't think about it, or they don't want to spend the money to have stones tested (which can be very expensive).
One final note: Fire Mountain Gems used to sell this "moss aquamarine" but no longer offers it. I don't know why, but I thought that was interesting. In fact, the ONLY info I could find about this stone---that it's aquamarine with iron inclusions---was found in FMG's google results, but that link to Fire Mountain Gems' moss aqua no longer exists.
If anyone finds more information about this gem, please let me know!
UPDATE: September 15, 2016----I bought a couple of Moss Aquamarine briolettes from a reputable seller on Etsy. They arrived, and....well, I'm underwhelmed. They're very green with a lot of inclusions inside, more "muddy" than I expected, and have some hints of blue. I'm not even going to have them tested---I do believe they are some sort of Beryl that is low quality (you can barely see through them!). Personally, I don't really like this stone, and I doubt I'll list them in any of my shops. Maybe some of these "moss aquas" that are more blue, with fewer inclusions, are prettier, but these stones do not impress me. Here are a couple of pictures:
|Very green beryl with a LOT of inclusions.|
|Semi transparent in spots, mostly olive green...beryl?|