Although Brazil is the largest producer of aquamarines today, Madagascar is the place where they were first found. The word "aquamarine" comes from the Latin words "aqua," meaning water, and "mare," meaning sea. The Greeks were the first documented people to use it, and it is now known as the sailors' lucky stone because ancient sailors used to use it as protection from rough seas. Ancient beliefs hold that the strength of an aquamarine is most powerful after being placed in water, and bathed in sunlight.
The color of an aquamarine gem can range from light blue to a greenish-blue, teal color. Generally, the more intensely blue colored stones are considered to be the most valuable. These brilliantly blue-colored aquamarines are referred to as Santa Maria aquamarines. Most of these rare gems come from Brazil, although some also come from Africa. Aquamarine stones usually occur naturally with less inclusions than other gemstones.
Here are a couple more aquamarine facts:
- Aquamarine is supposed to fortify mutual love and help sustain a happy marriage.
- The American National Association of Jewelers proclaimed Aquamarine as the birthstone for the month of March.
- Aquamarine is the birthstone for the Scorpio and Pisces zodiac signs.
- Aquamarine stimulates feelings of sympathy, trust, friendship, harmony, and a positive outlook on life.
- Insomnia and short-sightedness are two ailments thought to be cured by aquamarine.
- Aquamarine is a 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
- Aquamarine is usually pretty easy to work with in terms of cutting it, so it is a favorite of jewelry designers.