Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March Birthstone: Aquamarine

Aquamarine is one of the world’s most coveted gems. The ancient Greeks proclaimed its beauty highly prized, because it 'sparkles like the sea touched by the summer sun in purest tropical waters'. Its stunning color can range in tone from a light to medium blue, but many have a slight tint of green color.

Generally speaking, the darker shades are more valued but many people favour the lively brightness of lighter hues. It is not uncommon that aquamarines come in big sizes, many over 10 carats.  In some parts of the world, people have found aquamarine crystals weighing a few hundred pounds!  The most valuable aquamarines come from Brazil, but it is also mined in Kenya, Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia and the U.S.A.

Since early times, aquamarine has been believed to endow the wearer with foresight, courage, and happiness. It is said to increase intelligence and make one youthful. It is said to bring peace and calm to its owner, relieving stress and enhancing intuition. It has long been considered a lucky stone, especially by sailors, who carried it to keep them safe at sea and prevent seasickness.

As a healing stone, it is said to be effective as a treatment for anxiety and to harmonize diseased areas of the body.  In the Middle Ages, it was thought that aquamarine would reduce the effect of poisons.  Water in which this gemstone had been submerged was used in ancient times to heal a variety of illnesses of the heart, liver, stomach, mouth and throat.

Round, nugget & faceted aquamarine beads are readily available for your jewelry projects but they tend to be more expensive than other gemstones.  Teamed with black pearls or onyx beads these bright blue colored beads will make your design stand out in the crowd.

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