I took over this e-zine when Gail, its originator was unable to continue it. With Gail's permission, I have added her original Rock's of the Week so that everyone can find the information readily. Please feel free to visit Gail's web site at http://www.davesrockshop.com

March Birthstone

Aquamarine courtesy of a Private Collector

Aquamarine is a variety of beryl. Other beryl family members include emerald, morganite, goshenite, bixbite, heliodor and green and golden beryl.

Aquamarine's crystal structure is hexagonal (six sided). Crystallized prisms sometimes form vertical striated terminated crystals with small pyramidal faces. These crystals have been found up to 39 inches in length.

The most important aquamarine is found in alluvial deposits in Brazil. Aquamarine is found on every continent; however, some large deposits (Russian) have already been mined out. Other deposits of some commercial significants are in Queensland Australia, Myanmar Burma, China, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the USA.

The largest gemstone quality aquamarine was found in 1910 in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It weighed 243 pounds, measured 18 inches long and 15 inches in diameter. This stone produced 100,000 cut carats. There have been finds weighing a few tons but these aquamarines have been opaque and colorless and not suitable for cutting.

Aquamarine (Latin for water of the sea) is so named because of its seawater color. It is dark to light blue to blue green, with a vitreous luster. The coloring agent is iron. In the 19th century sea green aquamarine was the most popular but blues are more valued today. Aquamarine can also be distinguished from other similar stones by its Pleochroism. When viewed from different angles, it shows different colors.

It is possible to confuse aquamarine with blue topaz, euclasite, kyanite, blue tourmaline, zircon and glass. Sometimes synthetically produced aqua colored spinel is sold as aquamarine. Aquamarine's total lack of any traces of gray can help distinguish it from other similar stones.

It is a relatively high priced, semi-precious gemstone, higher in value than blue topaz, most amethyst and most garnets. In jewelry, the preferred cuts are emerald and brilliant as well as long oval shapes. It is usually cut with the table facet parallel to the length of the crystal to help bring out its deepest color. Turbid stones are cut in cabochons or are used for necklace beads.

Heating low quality almost white aquamarine to between 725 and 850 degrees Fahrenheit will change it to the darker blue permanent aquamarine color. Care must be taken not to cook the stone when heating it or making jewelry as too much heat will lead to discoloration. 

Variety of: Beryl
Chemical Composition: Al2Be3Si6O8 (Aluminum Beryllium Silicate)
Hardness: 7.5 - 8

History and Lore: 
Aquamarine has been mentioned in the ancient literature of many cultures as having been used in the foundations of sacred or holy cities. In the Bible it is one of the foundation stones of the "Heavenly City."

In Exodus, the high priest of the second temple of the Israelites wore an aquamarine on each shoulder, engraved with the names of the twelve tribes. Six were engraved on each shoulder stone.

In medieval times this stone was thought to reawaken the love of married couples. It has been called the "Stone of Courage." It was thought to guard against injury during battle and render soldiers invincible. 

Aquamarine was known as the "Sailors' Gem." It was said to make sailors fearless and safe at sea and protect anyone on or near the water.

Due to its history as a "Sailors' Gem", aquamarine is said to help with motion sickness. It is also known to be a very soothing and balancing stone. Perhaps there was something to all the old sailing lore.

Aquamarine is excellent for the 5th, or communication chakra. It can help singers and orators get the full quality of expression by releasing emotions that get blocked in the throat. It strengthens the throat, teeth, ears, neck and voice. It enhances ones ability to come up with rapid intellectual responses. It not only elevates our communication skills, but it helps us to assimilate knowledge.

People who are drawn to aquamarine are said to be those souls whose spiritual patterning holds a memory of... trauma, from past or present life birth experiences. Those attuned to this stone are often very humble and more critical of themselves than of others. Aquamarine can help heal the trauma.

From Gem Magic, by Cornelia Parkinson: "What aquamarine bestows on its wearer are added sensitivity and awareness of emotions and feelings of oneself and others. The sea-green aquamarine signifies moderation and control of the passions, and the perfect operation of prophecy.

If you dream of seeing an aquamarine, it presages a happy love life for you. It is always a fortunate omen to give or receive an aquamarine in a dream. Should you dream of an aquamarine in water, you will know abundance of all good things. If you wear an aquamarine ring in your dreams, it indicates your willingness to help others. Dreaming of an aquamarine pendant on a silver chain shows that you have a clever sense of humor."

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