Aquamarine gets its name from the Latin word for seawater. Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family of gems and is closely related to Emerald. Its color ranges from very light blue to a medium blue and often has hints of green in its body color much like seawater. While darker shades of blue are considered more valuable, the lighter shades can be very bright and beautiful especially when set in white gold, palladium or platinum.
The legends say that Aquamarine has the power to calm the waves, prevent seasickness, and guards sailors from harm at sea. It is also said to be the treasure of mermaids. Aquamarines is also said to have a soothing effect in relationships and thus helps foster a long and happy marriage. This makes Aquamarine the ideal anniversary gift. Aquamarine was considered a healing gem, and it was believed to help treat anxiety. An owner of aquamarine is said to be endowed with foresight, courage and happiness, it is also said to increase intelligence and make one more youthful.
The major source for Aquamarine today is Brazil. It is however also found in Zambia, Nigeria, Madagascar, and the United States.
Most all Aquamarine is heat treated to minimize the green in its body color. This helps make the color a purer blue. The heat treatment is, for the most part, stable, but extended periods of high heat or sunlight may cause the color to fade. Aquamarines should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner or ultrasonic. They can however be cleaned with most commercial jewelry cleaners or a mild soap and warm water solution is also very good along with an old, soft, toothbrush to gently clean the setting as well as the gem. Always rise and dry your jewelry after cleaning.
David West Nytch CGA www.westandcompany.com