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Emerald cut aquamarine

Origin and technical

Member of the Beryl family, aquamarine name means "sea water", which is an apt description of the colours seen in this gemstone.
The first scientific study on aquamarine we know was in Gemmarum and Lapidum Historia book, published in Latin, in 1609 by Anselmus de Boodt, personal physician of the Emperor Rudolf II.
The colouring agent in the crystal structure of aquamarine is iron oxide. During the 19th and until the beginning of the 20th century, the trendy colour was the blue-green. The more it got closer to the sea colour, the more the stone was appreciated. Today, the blue colour wins over the green, colours appreciated are generally the tints of blue without green.
By heating aquamarine at temperatures 500 600C under reducing atmosphere, the yellow tonality can be removed from a slightly greenish stone to only keep the blue colour. This classic treatment is permanent, the stone will stay blue indefinitely.

Myths and facts

Due to its colour, aquamarine has been linked to the sea. Former Greeks and Romans sailors counted on its power to help them navigating on rough seas. Pliny the Elder described it as a stone with real powers coming probably from treasures belonging to mermaids.
For the nations of China, aquamarine has been linked to Kuan Yin, Goddess of unconditional love, compassion, pity and protector of women and children. It was also supposed to help the unfortunate, unlucky and diseased persons.
In the Middle Ages, it has been considered that aquamarine, carved in ball, favours the visions on the future. It was even used it to find lost items. Some legends gave it the power to avoid poisoning which, back then, was common.
It was believed that it could give sleep and that held in the mouth, a person could invoke a demon from hell and this one will answer to the questions requested.
Aquamarine was also used it to bring back the loved one and resurrect love between married couples.
It has also been considered as the symbol of happiness and eternal youth.
Water in which an aquamarine has been soaked was supposed to cure eye's problems as well as hiccups. Christian tradition linked aquamarine with Saint Thomas. This Saint traveller has been up to Tamil Nadu and Kerala in India to preach the good word.
Aquamarine is the birthstone for the month of March alternating with bloodstone.

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