HISTORY and LORE
- Name comes from Latin aqua marina meaning “sea water.” To the ancient Greeks and Romans aquamarine embodied the spirit of the sea. In some stories it was a treasure protected by the mermaids.
- During the Middle Ages, Europeans believed this gem gives its wearer wisdom and inspiration, power to overcome evil, and ability to see the future. According to other traditions, aquamarine creates harmony and ensures a long, happy marriage. Its bright, refreshing color made it a symbol of eternal youth.
- Birthstone for March and gem for the 19th wedding anniversary.
- Color: Usually light blue-green to slightly greenish blue. Most expensive is bright nearly pure blue.
- Clarity: Often almost inclusion-free.
- Cut: Faceted in many shapes and styles. Also cabochons, carvings, fantasy cuts and beads.
- Carat Weight: Normally available in a very wide size range (up to 50 carats or more).
- Often heat-treated to improve color. The process reduces the greenish color component, and duplicates natural heating that can occur in the Earth. The effects are normally permanent, and the treatment creates no special care requirements for gem owners.
- A variety of the mineral species beryl. Emerald is another beryl variety.
- Composed primarily of beryllium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen; chemical formula Be3Al2Si6O18. Color caused by trace amounts of iron.
Aquamarine generally has very good wearability.
- Hardness: Moderate to high scratch resistance. Rates 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
- Toughness: Good resistance to chipping and breaking.
- Stability: No routine concerns for gem owners
- Cleaning: Liquid cleaner, or detergent and water. Ultrasonic is usually safe.