Aquamarine is the pale blue variety of the mineral beryl, in its most pure form - aluminium beryllium silicate. Aquamarine is a beautifully clear stone, with a wonderful shine and almost completely free of inclusions. Aquamarine has a hardness of 7.5 – 8.0 on Mohs’ scale, making it an extremely durable stone for jewellery.
The blue colour of aquamarine is caused by traces of iron, and the intensity of the blue depends on the quantity of iron within the mineral. Aquamarine can range in colour from a very pale blue to a deep-sea blue. The most valuable aquamarines are those with an intense blue colour. Some aquamarines can even have a light green hue.
Aquamarine crystals are found in pegmatite and coarse-grained granite rocks. The predominant deposits are found in Brazil but can also be found in Namibia, Kenya, Madagascar, Burma, the Ural mountains in Russia, Sri-Lanka, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
HISTORY & MYTHOLOGY
The name aquamarine is derived from the Latin ‘aqua’ for water and ‘mare’ for sea, due to the likening of it’s colour to the ocean. Since ancient times, aquamarine has been seen as a gemstone of vision and aquamarine crystals were often used for eyes in statues, to symbolize power and wisdom. According to legend, any person that looked at the statues became wise and gained the ability to see into the future.
These statues were often placed in strategic positions on the coast where they could calm the wrath of Poseidon, thus ensuring the safe return of ships. It is perhaps from this myth that aquamarine has been regarded as the sailors’ lucky stone.
With its association with the ocean, aquamarine is considered to be a gemstone of purification that cleanses the mind with fresh and positive thoughts and is used by those who meditate, due it its calming effect. It is also believed to eradicate fears and phobias. Additionally, wearing an aquamarine is said to ensure a good marriage and to bring the wearer happiness and good fortune.
Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and October. It is also the birthstone for the zodiac sign of Pisces (February 19th – March 20th). It can also be given as a gift to celebrate nineteen years of marriage.