Aquamarine is light-blue, blue and blue-green. Its name is from the Latin word meaning “Water of the Sea”. Sailors used to wear it for protection while out at sea. The darker, intense blue is the most highly sort after, and becoming more difficult to find. Large, clear, deep colour crystals are not that common any more, and if pale large stones are found, they are usually heat treated to become a more intense blue. As with emeralds, they are hard but brittle, so care must be taken when wearing them, but as they tend to be “cleaner”(fewer inclusions) than emeralds, they are not quite as easy to break. Aqua is found on most continents but mainly in South America. Smaller deposits are found in Southern Africa, Burma, USA, Russia and Australia. It is not economically viable to produce synthetic aquamarines. Most people would not know the difference between a blue topaz and an aquamarine gemstone, blue topaz being relatively inexpensive.