Aquamarine is thebirthstone for the month of March and the anniversary gemstone for 19 years married.
The name ‘Aquamarine’ is derived from the Latin words ‘aqua’ - meaning ‘water’ - and ‘marina’ - meaning ‘of the sea’. So it's no surprise that this ‘water of the sea’ stone, with its pale bluey-green hues has many associations with the sea and water.
Ancient lore thought the stone to be the treasure of mermaids and sailors used aquamarine as a talisman to protect them against misfortunes at sea.
And for the lovers, especially after 19 years of marriage (ha ha), aquamarine will ‘re-awaken’ the love of a married couple!
What Is Aquamarine
Aquamarine is a type of ‘beryl’ - a mineral composed of beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate.
Different mineral traces found within beryl give rise to different gemstones. So traces of iron causing ‘blue beryl’ - in the colours of pale blue, light blue-green and light green - are known as Aquamarines.
Other types of beryl include emeralds (deep green beryl), green beryl, heliodor (yellow beryl), morganite (pink beryl) and bixbite (a very rare deep red beryl).
Aquamarine measures 7.5 - 8 (out of 10) on the Mohs hardness scale and so it is a fairly hard wearing stone suitable for use in all types of jewellery.
Found mainly in Brazil (where the largest piece was found weighing over 100kg), aquamarine also comes from Afghanistan, Kenya, India, Ireland, Russia, Madagascar, Mexico, Pakistan, USA and Zimbabwe.
In the past, the most valued aquamarine stones were sea green in colour, but today, the rich, sky blue colours are more expensive.
Depending on which angle you look at an aquamarine, it may look blue, green, or colourless - and this is called a ‘pleochroic effect’. Hence aquamarine gemstones are considered ‘aqua’ in colour with green or bluish-green tints to them - just like the colours of the sea.
Folklore, History & Meanings
There are many myths and legends about aquamarine throughout history and within different cultures.
Connections To The Sea, Sky And Water
The Greeks and the Romans called aquamarine ‘the sailor’s gem’, ensuring the safe and prosperous passage across stormy seas.Hence it has been carried by sailors throughout history as a talisman against drowning.
In the Christian era, the aquamarine was connected to the Apostle, St. Thomas, who made long journeys by sea, to preach salvation. Because the stone was said to ‘imitate the sea and the air’, aquamarine became associated with travelling and journeys. Henceas well as being a stone of the sea, it was also considered a stone of the sky.
Aquamarines will protect you on your journeys by sea or air and will bring calm and prevent high emotions caused by the stress of travel.
Dealing With Your Enemies And Worn By Soldiers And Sailors Alike
Aquamarine was used in ceremonies for the belief that it would bring rain when required, or indeed inflict a drought upon your enemies. Other meanings connecting the gem to water and the sky.
The Romans believed that if the figure of a frog were carved on an aquamarine, it served to reconcile enemies and make them friends. And according to folklore, aquamarine would bring victory in battles and legal disputes.
So as well as being ‘the sailors stone’, it was worn by soldiers as it was thought to render them invincible.
Associations With Love
A Roman legend states that the stone absorbs the atmosphere of young love - ‘When blessed and worn, it joins in love, and does great things’.
It was also considered the most appropriate ‘morning gift’ to give to a bride by her groom following the consummation of their marriage.
In Medieval times, the stone was thought to reawaken the love of married couples.
As A Guard Against Poison
William Langland’s ‘The Vision Concerning Piers and the Plowman’ from 1377, mentions the aquamarine as an antidote for poison.
During this time poisonings amongst royalty happened regularly and so the popularity of the aquamarine to guard against poisoning was widely known throughout Europe.
For Fortune Telling
Aquamarine was believed in ancient times to counteract the forces of darkness and to invite the protection and favor of the spirits of light.
Writers of the middle Ages claimed that aquamarine was the most popular and effective of the ‘oracle’ crystals and when cut as a crystal ball, was a ‘superior stone’ for fortune telling.
It is a highly spiritual stone that sharpens intuition and increases clairvoyance. Said to be a great stone for mediation, aquamarine invokes high states of consciousness and spiritual awareness.
Aquamarine aids in promoting spiritual and psychic awareness, brings about core soul repair and healing, aids soul retrieval, and heals deeply at all levels.
Aquamarine’s further powers of revelation were said to help you search for lost or hidden things.
The associations of aquamarine throughout history for use in healing have bestowed upon it medicinal properties mainly to do with the eyes and throat.
Associations With The Eyes
The attributes of aquamarine were first recorded by Damigeron in the 2nd century BC - ‘This stone is good besides for damage to the eyes, and for all sickness, if it is put in water and given as a drink.’
Pliny the Elder’s Natural History also lists the stone as an excellent cure for eye diseases. The eye was supposed to be washed in water in which an aquamarine was immersed. To cure serious eye ailments, it was recommended to place the powder of the gem in the eyes each morning.
Modern healers believe the stone helps deal with glandular disorders, as well as aiding in maintaining the health of your eyes, like the Ancient healers believed.
Throughout history, when worn as an amulet, it was believed to bring relief of all pain.
Associations With The Throat
Aquamarine is associated with the throat chakra - in that it clears the throat chakra to bring in communication from a higher plane. This also governs the faculties of speech and singing.
It is said to shield the aura and aligns the chakras, along with the physical and the spiritual bodies.
Some consider aquamarine specific for treating afflictions associated with the ‘oral cavity’ in general.
Associations With Stomach And Liver
Ancient Romans believed aquamarine would be useful in curing illnesses of the stomach, liver, jaws and throat.
Hence, the gem was credited throughout history as a cure for belching and yawning and was considered especially effective for curing all ailments associated with the jaws, throat, stomach, liver and toothaches.
Associations With Fluid Retention
Today, modern healers believe that the aquamarine stone aids in fluid retention, a further association with the water aspects of aquamarine.
Associations With Everlasting Youth
The Sumerians, Egyptians, and Hebrews admired and valued aquamarine greatly, wearing it as a symbol of happiness and everlasting youth.
Physical Associations & Meanings
For Calm, Motivation And Comfort
Associations to do with the properties of the sea being tranquil and calming, connect aquamarine to peaceful calming energies that can be used to reduce stress and quiet the mind.
Aquamarine promotes motivation and comforts in times of intense physical and emotional release and supports you through the process.
For Sensitive People
Said to have an affinity with highly sensitive people, aquamarine soothes fears and helps to break old, self-defeating patterns.
Aquamarine is a stone for courage.
Aquamarine supports overwhelm when facing responsibilities and encourages you to take responsibility for yourself.
Aquamarine is used to treat people for whom procrastination is an affliction and was thought to be a cure for laziness.
For Your Personality
When worn as an amulet, aquamarine was believed to make the wearer friendlier.
It can invoke tolerance of others and help you to overcome judgmentalism.
For Thinking Clearly
It is said that an aquamarine can help you to filter confusing information, clarify perception, sharpen the intellect and bring any unfinished business to conclusion!
It will clear any blocked avenues of communication and help you to promote self expression.
Hence itis believed that wearing an aquamarine gives you the ability to think clearly and make quick decisions.
Translating The Sea In My Jewellery
Wow! Thats a lot of ah-mazing information around aquamarines. If you know my work, you will know how much I am influenced both by the sea and the sky - having spent countless years taking beach photographs. I am fascinated both by the colours and the patterns found along the shore and sky lines.
I didn’t know that aquamarine was known as ‘the stone of mermaids’ or ‘the sailors stone’. Neither did I know that wearing an aquamarine could make you friendlier and less judgmental or that it was thought to promote everlasting youth!
It’s associations mainly with healing the eyes and throat, its ability to stop procrastination and to help you think more clearly, give aquamarine extra powers as an excellent gemstone to wear everyday!
Aquamarine is a stone I have used many times in my designs and you can see these ‘sea colours’ all working together in my popular Sea Shore collection.
The blues of the water and the yellows of the beach translated into coloured gems like aquamarine mixed with apatite, topaz, tourmaline and coloured sapphires. The stripes of the water and pebble dots translated through different coloured metals - yellow and white golds, palladium and platinum - and all finished off with a sparkle of diamonds.
I love that aquamarine is a stone for journeying and travelling and this for me connects my love for this gem even more to the sea and sky - having travelled many thousands of miles in the sky over land and sea to move from Ireland to Australia (twice)!
Aquamarine - for mermaids, sailors, lovers, clear thinkers and the young at heart!