All gemstones have an interesting story behind them and aquamarine is no exception. Have you ever wondered how aquamarine got its name or why is has that special color? Here are some key facts about this beautiful stone.
Its Name Represents the Ocean The name aquamarine is reflective of the stone's physical properties. The term aquamarine is derived from the Latin words aqua and marina, which means water and sea respectively. The color of the precious gem can be described as similar to seawater and has been widely associated with the legends and folklore of the ocean.
The Many Shades
Aquamarine is well known for its distinctive blueish green color. However, shades range from deep teal to a light, crystalline blue. The depth of color is influenced by the amount of iron found in each gem. Darker blues and greenish blues tend to be the most valued of aquamarines.
A Stone of Another Name Today we know this blue stone as aquamarine, but this wasn't always the stone's name. Hundreds of years ago, it was referred to as sea-green beryl. The first evidence of it being called aquamarine was back in the early 1600s.
The Magic and Folklore Across many cultures, aquamarine has long been thought of as a protection stone. Sailors at sea believed in its guarding abilities, and many believed that aquamarine had the power to bring them safely back home. Protective amulets dating back to 500 BC have been uncovered. Some believe in the natural healing powers of crystals and use aquamarine to create peace, calm, and tranquility. According to folklore based traditions, aquamarine has the power to increase courage, intelligence and happiness.
Stone of Neptune According to legend, an aquamarine fell out of a sirens jewel box and washed up on the shore and Neptune, the god of the seas, found it. This myth was the basis of the notion that aquamarine provides protection for sailors. It was thought that Neptune loved these jewels and wouldn't want them to disappear back into the sea, so he'd protect them and anyone in possession of an aquamarine.
Aquamarine as a Birthstone and Anniversary Gift
In 1912 aquamarine officially became the birthstone for those born in March. And for couples celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary, aquamarine is a traditional gift .
The Don Pedro Aquamarine, named after the founding emperors of Brazil, is the largest aquamarine known to date. It weighs an amazing 10,363 carats and has been cut into a 14" tower. It’s on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.
Another beautiful aquamarine is the Hirsch Aquamarine. It's an all natural aquamarine, and weighs in at almost 110 carats. The stone is set as a pendant in 18K white gold with 118 diamonds and was once owned by the French Emperor Louis XV.
An aquamarine ring owned by Princess Diana is arguably the most famous aquamarine in the world. It features a 13-carat emerald cut aquamarine set in white gold and embellished with small round cut white diamonds on the side. Princess Diana wore it until her death. The ring came back into the limelight in 2018, when Diana’s son Prince Harry gifted the ring to his wife, Megan Markle.
Colorado State Gemstone Aquamarine is mined in many countries across the world, but some of the finest stones are mined in Colorado. In 1971, it was named the states official gemstone.