Aquamarine, popularly known as the “poor man’s diamond,” is a kind of beryl mineral that contains jewels such as emerald, morganite, and heliodor. Beryl is made up of four different elements: beryllium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. Beryl occurs as free six-sided crystals in rock veins that are not impacted by the shock and weathering that destroys gem deposits. It is a reasonably hard stone, ranking second only to diamonds, sapphires, rubies, alexandrite, and topaz.
Because of elements of iron in the beryl crystal, aquamarines range in hue from deep blue to blue-green of varying intensities. The most valuable naturally occurring deep blue stones are uncommon and pricey. Yellow beryl stones, on the other hand, maybe heated to turn into blue aquamarines.
Brazil is the best commercial supplier of aquamarines. High-quality stones may also be discovered in Colombia, Russia’s Ural Mountains, Madagascar, and India. Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina are the top sources in the United States.
The history of aquamarine
The Romans named aquamarine from the terms “aqua,” which means “water,” and “mare,” which means “sea,” since it resembled seawater. Aquamarines were said to have come from the gem caskets of sirens that washed up on shore from the depths of the sea. They were revered by Neptune, the Roman deity of the sea. Because of its link with the sea, it became the sailors’ diamond, guaranteeing successful and safe journeys as well as protection against sea hazards and monsters. Between 480 and 300 BCE, the Greeks were the first to employ it. They wore aquamarine amulets depicting Poseidon (the Greek deity of the sea) on a chariot carved on them.
Emperor Nero is said to have used aquamarine as an eyeglass 2,000 years ago. Aquamarines were subsequently used as spectacles to remedy shortsightedness in Germany. Indeed, the German term for spectacles today is “brille,” which is derived from the word for beryl.
Aquamarine was thought to have therapeutic and restorative properties by the Romans, mending illnesses of the stomach, liver, jaws, and throat. Aquamarine was thought to be an antidote to poison throughout the Middle Ages. Soothsayers, who dubbed it the “magic mirror,” used it to read fortunes and answer future inquiries.