Aquamarine – March’s Birthstone

aquamarine cabochons

As it’s name suggests, aquamarine is a blue-green gem, the colour of sea water. And as such much of its history, lore and healing powers are tied to the ocean and the blue skies; the loveliest of all that it was part of the mermaid’s jewellery box.

The bluest of blue aquamarine

Aquamarine was known to give sailors a safe and prosperous journey across the seas in ancient times, and was also used as an antidote to sea-sickness. The ancient Egyptians ascribed happiness and everlasting youth to the gem. In medieval times aquamarine was thought to reawaken the love of married couples. It is a stone that inspires trust and truth, and so it is also known as the gem of friendship.

Like the sea and the blue skies, aquamarine is said to bring tranquility and peace, washing away anxiety and negativity. It is associated with a clear intellect, removing vague and stumbling thoughts that allow the wearer to express themselves clearly.

The varying hues of aquamarine

Aquamarine’s healing powers are of the throat chakra, and used for ailments of the mouth, neck and lungs. In Roman times an aquamarine crystal was left in a glass of water overnight to purify the water and render it suitable to counter various kinds of ailments.

Scientifically aquamarine is a beryl, in the same family as its more illustrious cousin the emerald. Whereas emeralds get their green hue from chromium, it is ferrous iron that gives aquamarine its blue colour. The aquamarine colour spectrum ranges from greenish-blue through to a rich pure blue that is the most valuable variety of the gem. Unlike emerald, which invariably has inclusions, eye-clear aquamarine is abundant.

An aquamarine from Jay’s private collection weighing 1206ct

The leading source of gem quality aquamarine is Brazil, but the gem is also found in Russia, Afghanistan, India, Sri Lanka and the USA. Here in Africa good quality specimens are mined in Madagascar, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.

Aquamarine is a silicate with hexagonal crystals and is usually found in granite pegmatites. At a hardness rating of 7.5 to 8 on the mohs scale it is ideal for use in all kinds of jewellery, while the crytals are also highly sought after. Below are some pictures with links to some of the aquamarine products on our website. We are also busy loading some exciting new stock onto the website, so please have a look around and let us know if you have any questions.

Until then, stay safe
Jay and JD

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