It’s March! Which means that this month is the month of aquamarine, a beautiful semi-precious gemstone which ranges from pale green to pale green in colour. Is your birthstone the wonderful aquamarine? Or do you just want to know some fun facts about this eye-catching and vibrant gemstone? Keep reading as we take you through 6 fun facts about the aquamarine gemstone…
1. Aquamarine Is From The Same Mineral Family As Emerald
Aquamarine is a form of the mineral beryl which makes it a part of the same mineral family as the massively popular and long time loved emerald.
Beryl itself can come in a wide variety of different colours and there are many common gemstones that belong to the beryl mineral family including morganite, a pink variety of beryl and heliodor, a golden variety of beryl.
The rarest and most expensive form of beryl is red beryl.
Who knew aquamarine has so many brothers and sisters eh?….
2. Aquamarine Has A Hardness Of 7.5-8 On The Mohs Scale
OK, so here is where it might get a touch confusing if you’re unfamiliar with the Mohs scale…
Aquamarine, like other gemstones from the beryl mineral family, has a reputation for being a more brittle gemstone. So why the high rating you might ask?
Well the Mohs scale doesn’t actually record the ‘hardness’ of a gemstone, if you will. The Mohs scale actually rates scratch resistance. This means its ability to resist scratching from a harder, or higher rated mineral.
So this is why aquamarine, as well as other beryl minerals have such a high rating while being known for being brittle.
3. It’s Name Comes From The Latin Word For ‘Aqua Marina’
The name aquamarine is actually derived from the Latin word aqua marina, which translates to sea water in English. This of course, was due to the colours of the aquamarine gemstone being reminiscent of the colours of the sea.
Aquamarines connection to the sea goes even deeper when you learn more about old folklore that surrounds this truly fascinating gemstone. Which sets us up perfectly for fun fact number 4…
4. Aquamarine Is Steeped In Myth & Legend
As mentioned above, the connection between aquamarine and the ocean is much more than just its name and colours.
Many years ago, sailors actually used to take aquamarine with them on board their ship when out at sea. This was for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it was widely believed that aquamarine would keep them safe while they were on their journey at sea. It was believed to offer protection against both seasickness & shipwreck to help them get home safely. Some people were also of the belief that it would in fact protect them from Satan.
It’s said that another reason aquamarine was taken aboard ships by sailors was that they believed the stone was treasure from mermaids.
It wasn’t just sailors who believed that aquamarine brought protection to its owner though. Aquamarine has long been seen as a stone that brings safety and in the early days it was even worn into battle…
5. The Stone Of Courage
Following on from the topic of old folklore, the aquamarine gemstone is also known to be a symbol of strength and courage. In fact, aquamarine has long been considered ‘the stone of courage’ by many.
It is believed that the owner or wearer of this gemstone will release negative energy and make sure they are prepared to show bravery in the face of tough times.
6. Don Pedro Is The World’s Largest Cut Aquamarine
Brace yourself… , the largest mined and cut aquamarine in the world weighs over 10,000 carats!
This absolute specimen of a gemstone was cut from an enormous aquamarine mined in Pedra Azul, in the state of Minas Gervais in Brazil in the 1980’s. The stone is named after the first emperor of Brazil, Pedro I and his son, Pedro II.
It was cut by a man named Bernd Munsteiner before it was bought in 1999,then subsequently donated to The Smithsonian Institute before being moved to the National Museum of Natural History where it still resides to this day.
You can actually go and see it for yourself!