AfricaGem Gallery Africa




New aquamarine gemstone finds in Mozambique


Rough Santa Maria Afrique aquamarine from Mozambique
Rough Santa Maria Afrique aquamarine from Mozambique

Mozambique has once again started producing some excellent quality aquamarines. These top color gems - known as Santa Maria Afrique - have hardly been seen at all for the last several years. Unlike the vast majority of aquamarines which are quite pale, these have a far more intense blue color. A very small percentage of Zambian and Nigerian gems approach the same quality, though they tend to have a greenish or greyish overtone and have more inclusions. The Mozambique gems are known for their lovely pure blue colour, even when untreated.

Because these gems are highly dichroic (meaning that they have different colors on different axes of the crystal), they have to be carefully cut to get the best color. The aquamarines from this deposit are deep blue on one axis, and light green on the other. If the stone is cut with the green axis facing up, then the blue will be far less prominent, resulting in an inferior stone. Here are two photographs of the same piece of rough viewed from different directions to demonstrate the effect:


Aquamarine 1 Aquamarine 2
The same rough gem photographed from different angles, showing its strong dichroism

The price of high quality aquamarine has been very steadily increasing for the past several years due to high demand from retailers and very low production from large suppliers such as Brazil. Top quality, well cut aquamarines are currently extremely hard to obtain and would make excellent investment gems.

Gem Gallery Africa has just obtained a parcel of this new material direct from the mine. Sizes of cut stones will range from approximately 3 to 10 carats. We are expecting more rough of similar quality in the coming weeks, so keep watching this space for some great quality aquamarines.

Mozambique Aquamarine
A magnificent 9.14ct Mozambique aquamarine, cut by Gem Gallery Africa