Beautifully sparkling aquamarine has the color that resembles the ocean waters. From the name aqua it is commonly misunderstood to be originating from the sea. No it is not. It is an earthly gem found in rocks.
Adorable aquamarine is commonly found in granite and metamorphic rocks. It is obtained from nature by the process of mining.
Surface Mining by hand, the prevalent practice of collecting gemstones from nature, is surface mining using an open-pit. In South Africa, aquamarine gem mining is achieved easily by using just hands with no complex machinery involved.
To make the rocks those contain the aquamarine roughs to split open, fires are set beside giant boulders. Blasting the rocks with dynamite is rarely done. Once the rock, rich in minerals, is split open, manpower is used to collect the invaluable gems. Using hammers, chisels, picks and axes aquamarine is gathered as crystals breaking the rocks.
Aquamarine Mining-The Complete Process Geological site investigation is the first step in the process of gemstone mining. EIA-environmental Impact Assessment is the next step. These two steps are first done in sequence on the mines that are believed to contain these gem stones. Using Geomorphology, a highly advanced technical process, the land form is defined by gently moving the surface and raising it above the sea level. This process diminishes the depth and facilitates the mining process.
The area thus identified above is rich in Precambrian metamorphic rocks. These rocks contain minerals-rich crystals such as quartz, garnet, mica, feldspar, biotite etc, And not to mention the other invaluable and precious gemstones. The light bluish ‘Gem of the Sea’-Aquamarine stone is one among them.
Aquamarines are hosted in pegmatite, the veins present in metamorphic rocks. These veins are generally sheared and vary in thickness from 10m to 40m. The center of the pegmatite is usually massive. So it has to be fractured and banded. By the opencast mining method, the veins are fractured using pneumatic tools.
Some of the tools that are used in mining aquamarine gems are compressor, jack hammer, ladders, shovels etc. Bulldozers are also used to assist the process of mining the these gems. After the gemstones are freed from the rock they are cleaned and washed with water.
Aquamarine Mining- Mining of aquamarine is truly an environmental friendly process. It is devoid of usage of any toxic material like cyanide and mercury that are commonly used in gold and silver mining. So, all hearts that wish a green planet can wear aquamarine jewelry without the guilt of spoiling the mother nature`s purity.
Mining of this particular gem is a simple and harmless process in which the metamorphic rocks that contain aquamarine are first split into pieces by inserting air/gas pressure into the rocks.
Moreover, even after exhausting, the mines are not left barren. A 2m to 4m thick soil layer is placed over the filled and closed mine pits. So grass and trees can always be grown on that surface and the area gets its natural look back.
This precious bluish aquamarine gemstone is mined incorporating a harmless and environmental friendly simple process.