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The ideal color of aquamarine is a refreshing sea blue. It is a member of the important beryl family, which also includes emerald. Derived from the Latin meaning “sea water,” aquamarine was said to aid seafarers. It was poetically described by an ancient writer as “…a thousand leagues of sunlit sea imprisoned in a cup.” Its color varies from deep blue to greenish-blue and is like the transparent sea itself.
To dream of aquamarine signifies the making of new friends. To wear aquamarine brings love and affection. They are thought to give the wearers knowledge, foresight and assist in an individual’s inspiration. It is a universal symbol of youth, fidelity, hope and health.
The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans valued it highly. In the Middle Ages the aquamarine was said to bestow insight and foresight and, on the other hand, to have the power to induce sleep. The supposed power of the stone to fight evil was said to enable its wearer to conquer all wickedness. Water in which an aquamarine was soaked was believed to cure eye trouble, stoppage of breath and hiccups.
Aquamarines were associated with the purity of the oceans and hence were credited with the power to keep its wearers clean in body and spirit. The ancients wore aquamarines engraved with the head of Neptune, the sea god, to protect them against the perils of the deep. In Egypt the stone is believed to have been used to invoke the aid of cunning water spirits and mighty heroes. In the ordering of the New Jerusalem, the gem was assigned to St. Thomas, the apostle, who made long journeys by sea to preach the faith. In America the aquamarine was given an enormous boost in popularity in 1906 when President Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter, Alice Roosevelt Longworth of “Alice Blue Gown” fame, was given a beautiful heart-shaped aquamarine by Vice President William Howard Taft as a wedding gift.
Aquamarine is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria and Zambia.