Just looking at a finely cut aquamarine makes it easy to see how the stone got its name in the first place. These gemstones are usually very clear, and the transparent blue or greenish-blue hues are unmistakable. If water (aqua) or the sea (marine) were to be solidified, it is easy to imagine it would look a lot like this.
But there is more to this beautiful stone than its name and its coloration.
Like many other gems, there are a number of interesting facts about aquamarine that are rooted in science, myth, tradition, geology, and history. Let’s take a look at few of them.
- The Origins of the Name
The name of this gem is taken from the Latin words: “aqua” and “marina,” which literally mean “sea water.” Given the beautiful shades of deep sea blue and natural blue-greens, this was a very appropriate name.
- Aquamarine Folklore
Over the years, a lot of traditions have built up around this particular gemstone. Depending on who you ask, aquamarine has been said to protect sailors at sea, increase intelligence and foresight, help you feel youthful, increase happiness, and build courage.
- Never Forget the 19th
Aquamarine is the traditional gemstone gift for the 19th wedding anniversary. Why the 19th and not the 16th, 22nd, or 53rd? Well, gems and jewelry are regularly used to mark important celebrations – especially those that celebrate the passing of time, and 19 years is a lot of time to spend together. So, if the above folklore holds true, after nearly 2 decades of marriage, something that signifies building happiness may be the perfect gift. (Recommended: Aquamarine and Pavé Diamond Earrings.)
- Shape and Size
While many gemstones are found in fairly uniform sizes, aquamarine can come in a wide range of sizes. It grows in six-sided prismatic crystals that have been documented to be up to a foot long (though those are rare cases).
- Heat Treatments
Most of the aquamarine gemstones you buy on the market today has been heat-treated to reduce the amount of green in the hue. The stones are usually stable after this treatment, but it is possible for the color to fade if it is exposed to constant high heat or sunshine.
Aquamarine can be mined in many different countries across the world. The most common countries where you’ll find it today include: Brazil, Columbia, Madagascar, Zambia, Kenya, and others. It can even be found in some areas of the United States.
- Official State Gemstone of Colorado
On April 30, 1971, the state of Colorado adopted aquamarine as its official gemstone. This gem was chosen because the mountain peaks of Mount Antero and White Mountain are known to have some of the highest-quality aquamarine.
- Geological Properties
Aquamarine falls into the same family as emeralds, known as the beryl family. It is a fairly hard gem, but soft enough to be open to a number of cutting shapes and styles. It has a Mohs hardness of 7.5 to 8.0 and a refractive index of 1.577 to 1.583.
- Other Important Associations
We previously discussed how this gem is associated with the 19th wedding anniversary, but it is also associated with several other important aspects of life. It is the birthstone for the month of March, it has ancient ties to Neptune, the god of the sea, and is connected to the zodiac sign of Pisces.
- A Different Facet
Since aquamarine is so clear, it is an ideal choice for new and interesting cuts and faceting. Each individual facet adds to the potential light refraction and really helps it sparkle more.
Aquamarine is a stunning and eye-catching jewel with beautiful color variation and the potential for unique cuts. While we cannot guarantee that it will protect you while you are on the sea, we can guarantee that you’ll love wearing it!