Aquamarine - March Birthstone
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Aquamarine - March birthstone
The name aquamarine derives from the Latin expression for seawater because of its delicate blue or blue green coloring. The more saturated the color, the higher the value, though almost all aquamarine has a light tone. It is colored by trace amounts of iron that find their way into the crystal structure. A saturated blue is the most desired color.
Aquamarine is almost entirely free of inclusions and has good hardness (7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale). That hardness makes it very tough and protects it to a large extent from scratches. Iron is the substance that gives aquamarine its color, a color that ranges from an almost indiscernible pale blue to a strong sea-blue. The more intense the color of an aquamarine, the more value is put on it. Some aquamarines have a light, greenish shimmer; that too is a typical feature. However, it is a pure, clear blue that continues to epitomize the aquamarine, because it brings out so well the immaculate transparency and magnificent shine of this gemstone.
The leading producer of aquamarine is Brazil, with many mines spread throughout the country. Other deposits are found in Australia, Myanmar (Burma), China, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, as well as in several U.S. locations.
Aquamarine myth & legend
According to legend the aquamarine originated in the treasure chest of fabulous mermaids, and has, since ancient times, been regarded as the sailors' lucky stone. In Antiquity, as well as in the Middle Ages people believed that the cosmos is reflected in gemstones. No surprise that aquamarine is assigned to planet Neptune.
The healing powers of gems remain a controversial issue, but are mentioned for centuries by healers, shamans and medicine men. Whether its factual or a placebo effect doesn't matter, if it helps. Aquamarine is said to be of help for arthritis, eye inflammation, sore throat and varicose veins.
2/29/2012 4:49:00 PM
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