A gift from the sea – Aquamarine's properties & Care
Aquamarine is from two Latin words: aqua which means water; and marina which means of the sea. As a result, aquamarine is a stone that evokes all of the mysteries and blessings of the sea. It was considered a “sailor’s gem” and thought to provide protection from danger and to give victory in battle.
HISTORY: Both the Greeks and the Romans had myths about aquamarine as well as the Egyptians, the Hebrews and the Sumerians valuing it. The Greeks thought it would bring safe passage on sea voyages and also prosperity. The Romans thought it could calm their enemies into being their friends. It was used as a wedding gift to a bride in the first morning of their married life and to bring love. It was thought to be an antidote for poisonings In the 14th Century thinking that, if you wore it and were poisoned, it would be an antidote for the poison and save ones’ life. Thus, it is considered to this day to be a healing stone.
Aquamarine is in the Beryl GEMSTONE FAMILY of gemstones which includes Emerald, Morganite & Golden Beryl. Aquamarine is light blue Beryl with a touch of green. It is usually very clear, compared to emerald which is rarely clear. As a result, when emerald is clear (without inclusions) it is very, very expensive. Aquamarine is the most popular light-blue gemstone. Emerald, of course, is green and is the most popular green gemstone and the most expensive; Morganite is a peachy color; and Golden Beryl is a golden yellow to an orange-yellow color.Lesser known gemstones in the Beryl family are: Heliodor (yellow to yellowish green color), Goshenite (white to colorless color) , Red Beryl (Bixbite in deep red color) and Pezzottaite (a raspberry red color). Obviously, Beryl comes in a wide variety of colors.
CLARITY: all Beryl is ranges from transparent to opaque and, of course, the clearer and the more transparent stones are the most prized.
Aquamarine is a HARD stone at 7.5-8 on the MOHS scale. Any stone at a 7 or higher on the MOHS scale is usually hard enough to withstand bumps it might endure when worn in a ring without cracking. However, any stone can become scratched or cracked if it is struck hard, so take care not to hit the stone directly.
TREATMENT: Aquamarine and Morganite are often heat treated to intensify their color. Emeralds, since they are usually occluded, are commonly oiled to hide the inclusions. These treatments do not significantly affect their value. Other forms of Beryl are usually untreated.
CARE: washing with soapy water is adequate for cleaning. They can be steam cleaned as long as the stone is not cracked or has no fissures in it.
BUYING: consider the cut, clarity, color, and size (karat weight) of the stone, just like any other precious gemstone, such as you would with a diamond. There are man-made aquamarine stones in the market which can be identified by looking closely for small bubbles in the stone formed in the man-made process. Also, scratches indicate a man-made stone because aquamarine is hard enough that it shouldn’t get scratched easily with normal wear. Man-made stones easily scratch, however.
In addition, look out for other gemstones that are similar in color to aquamarine such as: blue topaz or blue zircon which are less expensive stones. Unless you are well trained to recognize an aquamarine from a man-made or a similar but lesser quality gemstone, stick to reputable dealers when buying an expensive aquamarine piece of jewelry.
PROPERTIES of Aquamarine are: brings good luck, fearlessness, protection and healing. It is a calming stone inspiring trust. Use this stone to let go of things. Aquamarine is seen as “a stone of eternal youth and happiness.” Aquamarine evokes the sea and life. It helps with meditation and understanding the deeper meanings of life.