Although the beryl family’s most well-known gemstone is probably the emerald, the aquamarine is also quite beautiful in and of itself.
The aquamarine has a lustrous tranquility which is unsurpassed by many other gemstones, especially those available in olden times.
The sheer beauty of the aquamarine has inspired numerous stories, myths, and legends, which incorporate the gemstone into cultural fables. Due to these stories, aquamarine is thought to symbolize faith, compassion, and friendship.
Table of Contents
1. Neptune, Roman God of the Sea
The word ‘aquamarine’ comes from the Latin phrase ‘aqua marinus’, which means water of the sea. Romans believed that aquamarine gemstone holds the power and energy of the sea. This belief was so strong that when sailing, if the sea would begin becoming troublesome, Roman sailors would toss aquamarine gemstones or jewelry into the sea in an attempt to calm it.
2. The Dom Pedro Aquamarine
The Dom Pedro aquamarine is the largest and most famous aquamarine gemstone in existence. It spans nearly a meter long and is almost flawless in composition. Found in Brazil, this gemstone was harvested by Bernd Musteiner, an expert in gemology. After studying the aquamarine for four months, the journey began. It took 6 months to remove the aquamarine from it’s original location. The obelisk weights 244 pounds and is currently on display in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.
3. A 14th Century Poem
A famous classical poem from the sixteenth century, an allegorical narrative of Christian Era, named ‘The Vision Concerning Piers and the Plowman’ states that aquamarine is an antidote to poison. Although this isn’t true, as crazy as it sounds, aquamarine was sometimes kept by royalty in Europe for this very purpose.
4. Goddess Attribution
The aquamarine was treasured not just in Europe, but in other countries including China, Vietnam, and among Mayan cultures as well.
Aquamarine was often attributed to female energy and was often carved into the likeness of various female goddesses, such as Kupala (The Water Goddess), Kwan-yin, (The Chinese Goddess of Mercy), Fuji (Japanese Goddess of Fire), and Akna (The Mayan Goddess of Motherhood).
5. A Common Destiny
We’ve talked about the use of aquamarine in Europe and Asia, but long before that, aquamarine was also used in Egyptian and Sumerian cultures. They have been found in Egyptian tombs and burial pits.