GGMS Articles -- Aquamarine: The Sailor's Gem

Aquamarine: The Sailor's Gem
by Robby Packer


The name Aquamarine means "ocean water". Stories of Aquamarines go back to ancient seafaring days. Sailors believed these glittering watery gems came from treasure chest of mermaids.

The people of the middle ages believed Aquamarine had magical qualities that would give them insight, foresight and the ability to conquer wickedness. It was also thought to cure eye troubles, respiratory problems, and hiccups.

Aquamarine is the birth stone for March and the gem for the 18th wedding anniversary.

Aquamarine is in the Beryl family. Other beryl species include:


The hardness is 7.5 /8 , specific gravity 2.67-2.84, refractive index 1.57 to 1.6

The major sources are Brazil, Africa , Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Madagascar

Aquamarine is rated good for everyday wear. Exposure to heat and exposure to chemicals should be avoided. Cleaning should be done with soft tooth brush and mild dish soap.

Color ranges from a very light steely blue to a deep blue similar to the water of the Caribbean. Some Aqua has a green tint and they use a heat treatment to try to drive off the green.

Beryllium aluminum Al3Be3(Si6)18. The luster is vitreous, transparent to opaque. The fracture is conchoidal; the stone is somewhat brittle.

The green in emerald is due to Chromium.

Aquamarine is said to work like a tranquilizer. It is known as a purifying and cleansing stone calming, soothing inner quiet, peace and meditation. In addition it has been thought to help with digestion and reduction of body fluids.


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