Named for the sea that its soft, blue-green tone emulates, aquamarine is the official birthstone of the month of March. Once credited with the ability to bring sailors home safe from the sea, this dreamy gem’s comforting hue is a calming, soothing accent to every season.
Most of today’s aquamarine comes from Brazil. A form of beryl, this glittering gem ranges in hue from palest blue to deep sea-green. In nature, it’s most often discovered in its greener form. But many of today’s aquamarine have been treated with heat to lighten the color and to remove the green tint. When you see aquamarine stones that are almost clear, pure light blue, there’s a good chance they’ve been treated with heat to produce the color.
Beryl, in it’s true form, is clear. But when mixed with impurities, colors can result that run the gamut from red to yellow and from blue to green. An emerald is an example of pure green beryl that has been mixed with chromium. In the case of aquamarine, it’s the presence of iron as an impurity that gives the stone its color.
Throughout the ages, the fascinating lore behind this stunning stone has attributed it with all sorts of powers — the power to bestow courage and foresight, the power to make the wearer feel young and happy. And way back in the day, aquamarine was believed to cure the effects of poison and to effectively dispel anxiety. It’s said that aquamarine stones were once treasures hoarded by mermaids and that sailors wore them for protection during long voyages.
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