Aquamarine’s name comes from the Latin for seawater and it was said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. March’s birthstone was also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages. The best gems combine high clarity with limpid transparency and blue to slightly greenish blue hues. Like many beryls, aquamarine forms large crystals suitable for sizable fashioned gems and carvings.
The serenely colored aquamarine invokes the tranquility of its namesake, the sea. In fact, the name aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea.
Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green; the color usually is more intense in larger stones, and darker blue stones are very valuable. This gemstone is mined mainly in Brazil, but also is found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.
Like emeralds, this gemstone is actually a variety of a mineral called beryl. Large stones have been found all over the world, including one stone found in Brazil that weighed over 240 pounds. Aquamarine grows in large, six-sided crystals that can be up to a foot long, making it a great gem to be cut and polished in larger carats for statement pieces.
Not only is aquamarine one of the March birthstones, it’s also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries. It’s a beautiful stone with little or no yellow in it, so it looks great in many settings with different colored metals and gemstones.
This gemstone was believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage. The serene blue or blue-green color of aquamarine is said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded.
In the Middle Ages, many believed that the simple act of wearing aquamarine was a literal antidote to poisoning. The Romans believed that if you carved a frog into a piece of aquamarine jewelry, it would help to reconcile differences between enemies and make new friends.
Still, other historical groups took this lore even further, using aquamarine as gifts to the bride at a wedding in order to symbolize long unity and love. Some even believed it could re-awaken love between two people.
The Sumerians, Egyptians, and Hebrews all admired aquamarine, and many warriors would wear it into battle to bring about victory. Many ancient medicines used powder from aquamarine to help cure all manner of infection, but it was said to be particularly good for eye ailments.
The stone is also considered to be a great addition to mental health and is used widely as a symbol in Tarot as well as a meditation aid and is said to help one cultivate more inner tranquility. It is also considered by some to be a great aligner of the spiritual and the physical, for those who feel out of harmony or alignment with oneself.
No matter how you use aquamarine—either as a piece of jewelry or as an aid in a spiritual journey—its cool, tranquil color is the perfect complement to any skin tone or setting.