We’ve decided to start a new series where we go through the A-Z of gemstones and tell you about each and every one (maybe not *every* one - anyone know one for X?!) There are many gemstones that fall under this category; agate, alexandrite, amber, amethyst and amazonite. But we are focusing on just one: aquamarine.
Asprey Diamond and Aquamarine Pendant
Aquamarine is the birthstone of March babies and my oh my they are lucky. Aquamarine has one of the most unique colours of all the gemstones with it’s dazzling blue. Aquamarine is the by-product of two latin words; aqua meaning water and marina meaning sea together the word translates to ‘colour of the sea’ and it’s easy to see why. The colour can range from a light icy blue to a deeper ocean blue. Today the darker aquamarine stones are higher valued, however that is not always the case.
Synonymous with the sea its no surprise aquamarines have been associated with tranquility, serenity, clarity and harmony. Sailors were particular believers in this and often slept with them under their pillows to help calm the storms and the sea, resulting in a peaceful nights sleep. They believed that aquamarines protected them when at sea, subsequently giving it the nickname of the ‘stone of courage’. In ancient times it was believed to be the mermaids treasure therefore sailors would use it to bring good luck to the waters; adding to it’s symbolism with fearlessness. Ancient Greek sailors often tossed the stone into the sea as an offering to Poseidon, placing their hope in the God of Sea’s favour.
As the first of the spring babies birthstone aquamarines also represent transformation and rebirth - in turn symbolising youth, vitality and hope. Ancient Egyptians often carved the stone into animals and wore it around their necks to ward off an early death. Ancient Romans wore it to cure laziness and procrastination, as well as for protection. The Romans also believed it to cure sight, rumours are Emperor Nero used the stone to cure his partial blindness.
Want to put your aqua jewellery to good use? Wear them whilst working, swimming, sailing or for general protection just wear it all the time, as let’s be honest, it’s not a hardship to don the stone!
Art Deco Style Aquamarine and Diamond Ring
The colour of your aquamarine
Let’s look at the 4 C’s to answer this question.
- Colour - the deeper blue of the aquamarine, the more valuable it’s worth.
- Clarity - the more transparent and clear the aquamarine is - the better.
- Cut - because of the colour of the stone, ones which are cut to show off their brilliance are typically better, compared to a cabochon for example.
- Carat: as with every gemstone; the bigger the carat size, the more valuable.
17ct Aquamarine and Diamond Pendant
Aquamarines have been around for a long long time, found dating back to the Sumerians they believed the stone to be the symbol of happiness and everlasting youth. In the Christian Era the stone was recognised with the Apostle St Thomas as it reminded people of the sea and air and the Saint made journeys by sea, even as far as India, to preach of salvation. It was common practice to identify a jewel with one of the twelve apostles, for example St John was identified with emeralds. Moving forward to the middle ages, those who practiced witchcraft believed the aquamarine to be the best for fortune telling. Often the stone was cut as a crystal ball and is said to be the most superior of all the stones for witchcraft. One method was to hang the crystal above water (the inside of the bowl would be covered with the alphabet) and the stone would bounce on certain letters to form the answer to a question. It developed into the stone being able to help seek lost or hidden things, this is a refinement from the Romans who believed it cured lost sight. According to folklore, men would take aquamarine into battle with them to help aid with stomach, liver and toothache. They would also pray to the stone to bring rain down on their enemies.
Aquamarine Beaded Necklace
How to look after your aquamarine
The best way to clean your stone is to wash it gently with lukewarm soapy water (mild liquid soap) and using an old toothbrush. Once washed make sure to rinse with water and to dry with a paper towel. Do not use hot water on your stone as this can cause thermal shock to the stone. Cleaners and detergent should be avoided as well.
If you’re someone who’s got an aquamarine stone - then lucky you!