How Do Aquamarine Gemstones Form?

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    Fiery Birth

    Cooling

    • The magma that formed the Rocky Mountains took several million years to cool completely. Pegmatitic granite, a type of granite that contains large crystals, is one kind of igneous rock that resulted. Pegmatitic granite forms when liquid minerals are still present in the surrounding rock. Crystals slowly form as the mineral's atoms come together and become a solid, much like liquid water becoming ice.

    Metamorphosis

    • Crystal growth can continue in, and is often enhanced by, the ongoing heat and pressure present deep in the earth. The longer the crystal is subjected to these conditions, the more likely it is to be altered in some way. Whether or not the crystal undergoes metamorphic changes depends on the conditions at its location. Longer cooling times also result in larger crystals. One single specimen of aquamarine was over 18 feet long.

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