Aquamarine is a blue to green-blue variety of precious beryl. Aquamarine is exceptionally hard and has an outstanding glass-like luster. It is most famous for its breathtaking sea-blue colors which can range from light blue to dark blue. The name 'Aquamarine' was derived from an old Latin expression which meant 'seawater'.
Aquamarine Origin and Gemstone Sources
The leading producer of aquamarine is Brazil, with many mines spread throughout the country. Other deposits of Aquamarine are sourced from Australia, Myanmar (Burma), China, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, as well as in several U.S. locations. Karur, India recently has become one of the biggest suppliers of Aquamarine.
Aquamarine is often heat-treated for color enhancement, but many are untreated. Heating at low temperatures will reduce unwanted green and yellowish tones. Darker shades of aquamarine are almost always heated, as well as lower quality stones (Usually at 725-850F or 400-450C) in order to enhance the color into a favorable blue color. Heating at higher temperatures would result in discoloration.
Caring and Cleaning for your Aquamarine Jewelry
Aquamarine is one of the more durable of gemstones, but that doesn't mean it doesn't require special handling and care. Avoid wearing aquamarine jewelry when working around harsh chemicals. To prevent scratches, always store Aquamarine separately from other types of gemstones and gemstone jewelry. When cleaning, you can use warm soapy water and dry them using tissue or a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse your stones well to ensure all soapy residue is removed. Wrap your stones in a soft cloth when storing for extended periods of time, or place them into a fabric-lined box.
Aquamarine Gemstone Mythology,
According to saga, aquamarine originated in the treasure chest of fabulous mermaids, and has, since ancient times, been regarded as 'the sailors' lucky stone'. Aquamarine derives its name from the Latin term for seawater and has a long tradition of being a stone for those who spend much of their time at sea. The Greeks and the Romans knew aquamarine as the sailor's gem too, ensuring the safe and prosperous passage across many stormy seas. Legend has it that aquamarines were the prized possessions of many mermaids and would thus protect sailors from the dangers of sea, including warding off sea-sickness. In Antiquity, as well as in the Middle Ages people believed that the cosmos is reflected in gemstones. It is no surprise that aquamarine is assigned to the planet Neptune and is also one of March's official birthstones. The esoteric movement revived the ancient belief and the gem industry made it another marketing tool to promote certain gems.
Aquamarine Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers
The healing powers of gems remain a controversial issue, but has been mentioned for centuries by healers, shamans and medicine men. Whether it's factual or a placebo effect, it truly doesn't matter as long as it helps people who need it. The safest approach is to wear the gemstone in contact with the skin, especially close to the injured or troubled part of the body. Aquamarine is said to be of help for arthritis, eye inflammation, sore throat and varicose veins.