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Aquamarine and Etching
  
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simonoff




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PostPosted: Mar 18, 2010 07:23    Post subject: Aquamarine and Etching  

We picked up a small aquamarine crystal while in Tucson because it looked interesting, something we wanted to study. Now that we have, of course, unanswered exist I am hoping you can help with.

Lots of questions here (most raised by my daughter)....

- Are these really etching pits.
- Why are they running up and down the crystal's prism faces - at what appear to be almost even intervals
- What chemicals cause the etching in beryl

Basically we'd love to learn a lot more about these.

Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

Bob & Jessica



IMG_5063.JPG
 Description:
This prism face is a very narrow face, yet it still has the etching pits.
 Viewed:  17281 Time(s)

IMG_5063.JPG



IMG_5056.JPG
 Description:
A double pit
 Viewed:  17275 Time(s)

IMG_5056.JPG



IMG_5054.JPG
 Description:
More pits note a double pit
 Viewed:  17264 Time(s)

IMG_5054.JPG



IMG_5052.JPG
 Description:
The basic look. Note some of the pits are on the closest prism face, others you see are on other faces.
 Viewed:  17277 Time(s)

IMG_5052.JPG


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Jason




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PostPosted: Mar 18, 2010 12:16    Post subject: Re: Aquamarine and Etching  

yep..i have had some cool ethced aquas from many locations..i think the etching is normally caused by hydrogen flouride or potassium flouride in the water vapor stage during pocket formation..will have to double check my facts but i think after some study of etchings on Mt. Antero aquas that was the conclusion..probably different for other locations..but the only unresolved issue was if it was HF which at first they thought it would have etched accompying quartz crystals, feldspar, and mica and many times those were pristine..so pockets that had etched beryls many times had unetched other minerals..not sure if they solved that conundrum
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jacquestouret




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PostPosted: Mar 19, 2010 09:08    Post subject: Re: Aquamarine and Etching  

For beryl (not only aquamarine!) etching, the fluorine track is most probaly good. For those who want to go a bit deeper, see the work of B. Moine et al. on Madagascar emerald deposits (C.R. Geoscience, vol. 336, n°6 (2004) , p. 513-522 (in French, but with a significant english version). Several other papers by this group (Toulouse) on the subject. Note also that spectacular blue beryls almost completely dissolved appear now regularly on the market, many of them from Pakistan ?.
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John S. White
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PostPosted: Mar 20, 2010 06:22    Post subject: Re: Aquamarine and Etching  

Jacques:

I believe the vast majority of the deeply etched blue beryls are from Pedra Azul, Minas Gerais, Brazil. I have a small one and that is the locality information I have for it.

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Matt_Zukowski
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PostPosted: Mar 25, 2010 21:30    Post subject: Re: Aquamarine and Etching  

Those etchings look to me like the pattern one sees on the Volodarsk-Volynskii beryls.
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olelukoe




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PostPosted: Mar 25, 2010 23:35    Post subject: Re: Aquamarine and Etching  

Ye - some times so interesting figures of etching on a beryl crystals surface we can see, for example:


sl008_1.jpg
 Description:
Golden (Heliodor from Ukraine locality - Volodarsk-Volinskiy
 Viewed:  17040 Time(s)

sl008_1.jpg



b043_1.jpg
 Description:
Naturally etched morganite crystal, from Vodorazdelnaya, Menza District, Chitinskaya Oblast, Zabaykalye, Eastern-Siberian Region, Russia
 Viewed:  16957 Time(s)

b043_1.jpg



b040_2.jpg
 Description:
aquamarine crystal from Medina mine, Minas Gerais, South-East Region, Brazil
 Viewed:  16940 Time(s)

b040_2.jpg



b013_2.jpg
 Description:
Heliodor crystal, from Padre Paraíso, Jequitinhonha valley, Minas Gerais, Southeast Region, Brazil
 Viewed:  17003 Time(s)

b013_2.jpg


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Peter




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PostPosted: Apr 06, 2010 14:47    Post subject: Re: Aquamarine and Etching  

Jessica and Bob

The etching certainly is a most interesting subject and I am not surprised on your curiosity. To be curious is the most important thing in life.

To put it shortly, the shape of the etching will depend on what face the etching occurs in and the etching media. This etching is typical for the edges. Hexagonal etch pattern typical for the pinakoid (flat top) termination. A multitude of forms for other faces, as we are "attacking" the beryl molecule from different directions.

Jogn Sinkankas was an exceptionally talented scientist, mineral collector, gem cutter, observer, student and teacher. PLease do buy his book. Emerald and other beryls.
It is one of the most valuable books I ever got. So many answers and leads to many questions!!! In the chapter checmical and physical properties he summaries many good references and research into beyl etching, also laboratory trials and study of natural crystals.

One researcher (Honess) obtained "satisfactory" etch figures on beryls in 15 seconds by immersing them in moltensodium hydroxide where boling hydrofloric acid for an hour failed to produce the slightest trace of etch figures (page 277 and 268).
I have many examples of interesting groths and etch figures.
Best regards
Peter
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Jason




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PostPosted: Apr 06, 2010 17:44    Post subject: Re: Aquamarine and Etching  

Wow that last heliodore etching..are you sure thats etching and not ancient sumerian writing..LOL..stuff looks cool
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Peter




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PostPosted: Apr 06, 2010 17:57    Post subject: Re: Aquamarine and Etching  

That last one is a "message from outer space from a civilization 490 million light years from us", or at least that is what some people would believe and try to prove if the picture would reach them ;)
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simonoff




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PostPosted: Apr 06, 2010 23:14    Post subject: Re: Aquamarine and Etching  

Careful Peter - words like that could start a whole new mineral sales industry.
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Jason




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PostPosted: Apr 06, 2010 23:20    Post subject: Re: Aquamarine and Etching  

I still wish I had this Antero aqua..it had some of the coolest etching on it..sold it awhile back..sigh..sure wish i had a pic of it..some awesome designs
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Jessica Simonoff




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PostPosted: May 12, 2010 20:12    Post subject: Re: Aquamarine and Etching  

The first photo that Olelukoe posted looks like it has a pattern in it which has a similar shape to the shape of the etching in this aquamarine. Do you know what makes the etching create different patterns?
Thanks
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