Aquamarine | Variety of the Mineral Beryl

 

 

aquamarine mineral specimen

 

Aquamarine belongs to the group of minerals known as beryl to which emerald, heliodor, morganite and goshenite also belong.  The name aquamarine originates from Latin and means "water of the sea", the colour of this highly sought after stone is caused by impurities of iron.  Varying from the deepest shades of green to the lightest of blue, aquamarine is a popular gemstone which is the modern birthstone for the month of March.  The light blue coloured stones which are highly sought after and particularly distinctive have usually been heat treated which enhances their colour.

Sailors in ancient times believed the tail of the mermaid was made from aquamarine hence this stone was often carried as a talisman in order to bring luck and offer protection from the dangers of being at sea.  Aquamarine would often be carved with images of Poseidon or Neptune (the Greek/Roman Gods of the sea) and it was believed that placing a stone under one's pillow would ensure sound sleep. It's still believed today to be a stone that's in tune with the ocean and in crystal healing aquamarine is said to provide soothing calmness whilst also having the ability to help alleviate phobias and fears.

During the Middle Ages aquamarine was used to overcome the effects of poison and today it's said to encourage creativity and self-expression and is also used to help those burdened with great responsibility by bringing strength, wisdom and clarity of mind.

Aquamarine grades 7½ to 8 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness which makes it particularly suitable for faceting.  It can be found in Brazil, Mozambique, Madagascar, Nigeria, Zambia, Angola and India.

Although aquamarine is best known as the birthstone for the month of March, bloodstone and jasper may also be used.

The aquamarine in our photo is on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C.  Photograph by Stone Mania © 2015.

 

 

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Further Reading:
Aquamarine on Wikipedia