Richmond Crystal

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Ancient fishermen and sailors did carry this stone when setting sail on the Mediterranean: Aquamarine

Aquamarine is Latin for "water out of the sea" and is considered to be a variety of the gem beryl. Aquamarine is also known as "the sailor's stone" and the "stone of courage".  Ancient fishermen and sailors did carry an aquamarine talisman when they set sail on the Mediterranean. The effect was believed to be even stronger when the god of the sea was engraved in the talisman or amulet. Neptune was for the Romans the god of sea and Poseidon for the Greek. The Seamen believed that aquamarine gave them the strength to overcome high waves, strong gusts and prevent them from becoming seasick.

Aquamarine with a clear blue or blue green color has been heated to get the perfect color. The distinctive green color is caused by amounts or iron in the stone itself.

One of the biggest aquamarine suppliers in the world is Brazil. Mining of the gem takes mainly place around Teofilo Otoni, located north-east in the state Minas Gervais; One of the 26 states in the largest South American country. It is the same state where in 1910 the largest stone of aquamarine was found; it weight over a  240 lbs. Teofilo Otoni was founded in the 19th century by German colonists. Aquamarine is also found in Asia, in Russia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Several countries in Africa and a couple of states in the US do also have deposits of aquamarine.

The largest faceted aquamarine is on show in the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. The name of this exceptional stone is ‘The Dom Pedro’, named after two Brazilian emperors and was gifted to the museum in 2011. It took 6 months cutting and faceting the stone into the shape of an obelisk of 14 inches. The aquamarine stone that eventually was transformed in the Dom Pedro was also originating from the state of Minas Gervais in Brazil. The original piece that was found was a lot bigger than the stone that is displayed nowadays in the museum. Brazilian miners accidently dropped the aquamarine stone, breaking it into pieces. 

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Aquamarine smooth stone

Aquamarine smooth stone