Aquamarine is the blue to greenish blue to bluish green variety of beryl. The beryl family of gemstones includes emerald and the pink variety called morganite as well as the yellow variety that is called Golden Beryl. The ideal color of aquamarine is a refreshing sea blue that is not too pale and not too green.
Aquamarine is the traditional birth stone for those who are born in the month of March. It is also the accepted anniversary gem gift for the nineteenth year of marriage.
Tales of aqua, as it is often called, date back to ancient seafaring days. Sailors of old believed that these glittery, watery gems came from the treasure chests of mermaids. Perhaps it is no wonder that aquamarine is said to bring luck to all who sail the seas. The name comes from Latin words meaning “sea water” due to its color.
Since early times, aquamarine has been believed to endow the wearer with foresight, courage, and happiness. It is said to increase intelligence and make one youthful. As a healing stone, it is said to be effective as a treatment for anxiety.
Aquamarine is mainly mined in Brazil but can also be found in Madagascar, Nigeria, and
Zambia and the United States. After it is mined, the common treatment for this gemstone is heat to help eliminate yellow or strong greenish color; thereby, purifying the blue color. This treatment is standard and the results are permanent and this is considered an improvement for the aqua in the jewelry trade.
Care should be taken with aqua jewelry as with all fine jewelry. Aqua is fairly sturdy gemstone rated 7.5 to 8 out a possible 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. They are usually safe in an ultrasonic cleaner and professionally cleaned using a steamer.