A member of the beryl family, aquamarine derives its name from “sea water”; it is the pale greenish-blue variety of beryl like emerald. It is a highly prized gem in jewelry, often considered a favorite by modern designers, due to its hardness allowing a great diversity of cuts. Its color and brightness are reminiscent of sea water.
For a long time it was considered a symbol of happiness and eternal youth and, as was thought, it induced sleep.
It was believed that, held in the mouth, a person could call the devil from hell and receive answers to any question.
The water in which aquamarine was soaked was also believed to cure eye problems and hiccups.
During the Middle Ages, alchemists believed that aquamarine prevented fluid retention and improved digestion. It was also believed that this stone acted as an antidote to any poison.
Aquamarine is the stone of the month of March that alternates with blood jasper.
This stone was already known to the Egyptians as it has been found in ancient mummies. It was already in the Renaissance when it received its current name.
In 1910 a specimen weighing 110 kilos was found in the city of Marambaia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. This aquamarine is the largest ever found, and its dimensions were 48.5 cm long and 42 cm in diameter.
The aquamarine deposits are very numerous. Aquamarines can be found in Italy, Sri Lanka, India, and the United States. Also in quite a few African countries, such as Zambia, Nigeria, Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. The most important mines are those in Brazil: Minas Gerais, Bahía and Espirito Santo. However, the most sought-after specimens come from the Ural Mountains (Russia). Engagement ring, white gold with Aquamarine, Heart size.
Physical aspects of Aquamarine
- Color: From very light to medium dark blue
- Family: Beryllium
- Chemical composition: Be 3 Al 12 (SiO 3 ) 6
- Crystalline system: Hexagonal
- Hardness (Mohs scale): 7.5 – 8
- Specific gravity: 2.76 ± 0.05
- Refractive index: 1.57 – 1.583 ± 0.017
- Birefringence: 0.005 to 0.009
- Optical character : Uniaxial +