Aquamarine is precious beryl of the blue or blue-green variety.  It is a beryllium aluminum silicate.  Its name came from a Latin expression meaning “seawater.”  Its astonishing sea blue color actually derives from iron impurities inside of colorless beryl crystal.  The most valuable and desirable aquamarine specimens exemplify a deeply saturated dark blue.  Aquamarine is the official birthstone for the month of March, has a vitreous luster, and is very hard with a Moh’s hardness of 7.5 to 8.  Compared to similar gems it has excellent transparency and clarity.  Visible flaws are a rare occurrence.  It is a tough and durable stone that requires little care making it ideal for use in jewelry and it is available in many interesting cuts and shapes.  However, most specimens you see on the market today have been heat treated to create hues of deeper blue.  This is a widespread practice that is considered to be acceptable in the gemstone industry, but sellers should disclose this information to their buyers upon inquiry.  Noteworthy sources of quality aquamarine include Brazil, India, Myanmar, Australia, China, Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, Namibia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and the United States.

Ever since ancient times aquamarine has been considered the lucky stone of sailors.  Legend has it that it was the prized possession of mermaids and was believed to prevent sea sickness, protect sailors from dangers posed by the sea, and ensure prosperous and swift passage even in stormy conditions.  You don’t have to be a sailor to benefit from the use of aquamarine.  It is associated with the throat chakra, and so it is also great to keep around if you are a public speaker or teacher, particularly if you have a fear of speaking in public.  It is said to allow people to speak clearly, truthfully, and tactfully.  Some consider it to be a crystal of love and offer it to their partner in jewelry form as a symbol of commitment and fidelity.  It may help opposites reside together in harmony, reduce quarrels, and even encourage a lover who has left to return.  Aquamarine is claimed to emit a calming, loving, and compassionate energy, cleanse the emotional body of its keeper, and allow him or her to understand and move past negative emotional patterns. This in turn allows him or her to experience a happier life filled with positive and meaningful relationships.

Aquamarine is claimed to provide physical healing benefits as well.  You may have heard of it in association with the thymus gland.  Worn as a necklace it is supposed to be very soothing.  Romans believed it possessed the power to cure throat troubles as well as ailments of the liver and stomach.  In addition it has been used to calm the nerves, reduce fluid retention, heal sinus issues, ease seasonal allergies, promote healing in the case of inflammatory disease, soothe a variety of skin conditions, and slow or even reverse vision problems.