Aquamarine Inclusions


I have an aquamarine, I believe. I’m not sure if it’s synthetic or not. Perhaps the inclusions I found may be a giveaway. I think they are gas bubbles, but I’m not sure.
I just received my microscope and I don’t have a lot experience yet.

Do only synthetic have gas bubbles like the ones in the picture?


It is hard to tell from the picture. In general, gas bubble do not have angular sides. They usually have a more rounded shape than these in the picture. In this picture, they do not look like gas bubbles. The bright reflections make it more challenging to see what they are. Are there other inclusions you can post for us to see? Thanks


Yes… natural aquas will often have inclusions. Usually the natural inclusions are long narrow tubes that can either be hollow or liquid filled. At times there are so many tubular inclusions that the aqua can have a cat-eye look to the finished stone. I have limited knowledge in this area, but from my little experience the synthetics are much more likely to have round, liquid filled “bubbles” as inclusions, and I have not seen the tubular inclusions in the synthetics that I have bought and cut… but have seen a few bubbles. Your picture looks to have some “mineral” inclusions that are fairly equant. Usually a mineral inclusions is a different species than “beryl” and during crystallization the foreign elements reach concentrations sufficient to crystallize a very small amount of a new mineral. This is uncommon in synthetics as they control the starting mix and keep other non-beryl components out of the mix.
So… I am really no help at all… as some of the aspects of your picture suggest “synthetic” while other aspects suggest “natural”.


I remember a website that shows the common inclusions found in beryl… need to go down the website to the “clarity” discussion… but it has nice pictures of the common inclusions:



Here are some more pictures. Inclusions near or on the surface.
No rutile to find. I may have a trip to Londen to get it checked on a verbal.

I will let you know when it’s done.


The book by David Lewis “Practical gem testing” illustrates common inclusions seen in natural aquamarines. Generally, the bubble inclusions he shows are tubular and run parallel to each other. He does however show a “jagged” two-phase inclusion that is found in “many aquamarines” but it is dissimilar to the one in your photograph that appears to be surrounded by bubbles.