05 Jan Our Stones: Aquamarine!
We’re not done yet! This trip around the world learning about stones, their culture and history are fascinating, isn’t it?! We’re veering a bit this month to talk about a specific stone, so without further ado, next up on our “Stones” tour is the beautiful Aquamarine!
The name Aquamarine comes from the exact Latin translation of sea and water. The name also comes from the beautiful colour of the beryl stone – seawater-coloured of course! The colour can vary greatly in its intensity of blue ranging from light blue even mostly green to medium blue.
The largest aquamarine ever reported was found in Brazil in 1910. It weighed a whopping 243 pounds and was then cut into 200,000 carats of smaller stones!
Sea-green aquamarine stones were coveted until the 19th century. Now it seems that the darker blue they are, the more valuable it is.
Brazil is the leading producer of aquamarine with India being an up-and-coming supplier.
There are MANY myths and legends surrounding aquamarine, too many to get into here!
Both Greek and Roman Legends call aquamarine “the sailor’s lucky stone” and stories say this precious stone originated in the treasure chests of mermaids! A common belief was aquamarine protected sailors against the rough seas and ensured safe passage.
The Romans had a few more theories on aquamarine, one being that when worn and blessed it would aid in love commitment. Another was that if a frog was etched on the stone it would turn the wearer’s enemies into friends.
Since aquamarine symbolized love and security all around, in ancient times, aquamarine was THE gift to give newlyweds.
The Hebrews, Egyptians and Sumerians valued aquamarine as a symbol of youth and extreme happiness.
Aquamarine has been lauded for centuries (and still is in some cultures) for its healing powers. For instance, to reduce pain and inflammation, wear an aquamarine stone near your source of pain. In ancient times people believed it promoted gastrointestinal relief and used it for stomach, jaw, throat and liver conditions. Aquamarine was put into water, which was then either drunk for any sickness, or used to wash out the eyes, nose, or other membranes.
During the 1300s aquamarine was even used throughout Europe as an antidote for poisoning! Royalty took to wearing the stone continuously as there were a lot of attempted poisonings during that time.
Aquamarine stones are cut in many different ways as cutters experiment with more unique cuts all the time. These stones are among the easier ones to cut and work with.
Currently, the most commonly found cut is the rectangular emerald step-cut, followed by the oval, round and pear-shape.
Gemstone carvings, including animals and other figures, are also quite commonly seen carved by talented artists.
North American Influence
The official birthstone for March is aquamarine but is extremely popular for anyone interested in jewellery. This is because of its beautiful colour, how easy it is to find, and the variety of price ranges.