Name genesis: The name aquamarine is derived from the Latin ‘aqua’ meaning water and ‘mare’ meaning sea. There is an interesting legend around the name of the stone- according to legend the stone was first found in the treasure chests of beautiful mermaids. Hence since ancient times it has been regarded as the sailors’ lucky stone.
Chemical composition: Be3Al2(SiO3)6
Hardness: 7.5 to 8 on Moh’s scale
Specific Gravity: 2.66 to 2.80
Refractive Index: 1.572-1.590
Birefringence: 0.005 to 0.008
The most acceptable color for aquamarine is a clear sky-blue, which even in the darkest shades rarely reaches the color of sapphire. However much aquamarine has a bluish-green colour that was much prized in earlier time, but this is not so nowadays.
Minas Gerais in Brazil has been the traditional source for these stones. In 1982 new deposits were found in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Zambia. The Ural Mountains that divide the European from Asiatic Russia have been known to yield splendid stones of this variety. Madagascar, some locations in the US and Burma also produce aquamarine to some extent. Zimbabwe, Namibia and some states in India are localities where aquamarine has been found.
Shapes & Sizes:
Aquamarine, unlike emeralds are found in large crystals of flawless clarity from which large faceted stones can be cut. For this reason creative gemstone designers are inspired by it to create new artistic cuts from this stone. Aquamarine is mostly cut in an emerald or step cut. Indeed, cut aquamarine need to be of some size for the colour to be sufficiently intense to produce a good-coloured stone. Small stones rarely have the depth of colour sufficient to be attractive. Aquamarine beads are available in faceted, round, carved or tumbled varieties ranging from single strings to multiple strands with matching colors and graduated beads.
They say you can never go wrong with blue. So it is with this stone. The amazing variety of blue shades can complement almost any skin or eye colour. You can contrast the icy blue depths of aquamarine beads with the warm yellow of gold beads or settings. Or you can dazzle the eye by choosing a silver complement. Either ways the beautiful blue gems will hold their own and wow onlookers. Necklaces, earrings and bracelets and even hair accessories can be beaded through or set with this versatile stone for the ultimate blue-eyed look!
History & Healing:
It is said that the light blue color of the aquamarine arouses good feelings like compassion, faith, accord and amity. Blue is perceived as a divine, eternal colour because it is the colour of the sky. It is believed that the aquamarine’s strengths are developed to their best advantage when placed in water which is bathed in sunlight. According to the old traditions wearing an aquamarine promises a happy marriage and is said to bring the woman who wears it joy and wealth into the bargain.