Let’s face it. Everybody is brought up with fairy tales, told by their mothers or grandmothers. And the story of the mermaid is a popular one besides the story of Snowwhite of course. And you are not used to hearing fairy tales from FlorenceJewelshop, are you? But today I want to tell you the story about ‘why aquamarine is the gemstone of the mermaid’. Not only because I want to tell you a fairy tale. But because after reading this story you will love this light blue beauty as much as I do.
The story of the mermaid
In 2001 Alice Hoffman writes a fairy tale about a mermaid called Aquamarine and in 2006 a movie based on this novel was made.
It is a story about two girls, who will be separated because one of them has to move to Australia. One night, after a storm, the girls find a mermaid in the swimming pool of a beach club.
Her name is Aquamarine and she tells the girls that she can assume a human body in the daytime. And she explains her presence telling that she is here to find love. Her father threatens to marry her to a boy she does not know. And he gave her three days to find love otherwise the arranged marriage will take place.
While talking to the girls she sees a very handsome guy and asks the girls to help her to win his heart. In return, she will grant them a wish.
The handsome boy and Aquamarine share a kiss and the boy promise Aquamarine to wait for her. The mermaid grants the wish to the girls and they discussed using the wish to avoid their separation. Now the mermaid sees what real love is like when the girls decided that the wish will be used to make sure that the three can meet each summer.
Something more special than this blue gems?
Last January I was in Siem Reap (Cambodia), where we visited Angkor Wat, the famous jungle temple complex, discovered not so long ago. Of course, I was looking for gemstone beads too. After a long search in the last shop on my list, I found what I was looking for.
Here I saw one of the most beautiful pieces of aquamarine I ever laid my hands on. Light blue, crystal clear, perfectly cut, and too expensive to even try to negotiate the price down so that I can afford it.
The aquamarine has the power of love, the beauty of the mermaid, and the touch of the life-giving waters of this planet. It is said that aquamarine is the treasure of mermaids. When I felt that piece of gemstone, I really felt that it is a treasure.
It gives you eternal youth!
According to the people who believe in the healing powers of gemstones, aquamarine can be compared with a splash of ice blue cold water in the face. The crystal will make your body more beautiful because it encourages self-respect and inner peace. And it stands for tranquility so that you can avoid all the stress marks on your face, living your normal life.
Believe this or not. But when you wear a piece of jewelry made of aquamarine and may be combined with pearls, you will look younger. Younger because you are so happy possessing such a treasure, younger because your skin looks beautiful with aquamarine.
Remember the story of Aquamarine
Not only the novel of Alice Hoffman and the movie about Aquamarine, the mermaid, will remember us of the beautiful light blue gemstone. But it is also the base of this fairy tale. There are a lot of mermaids in the world, along with the seaside that keeps the story alive.
The statue of the mermaid in Copenhagen is maybe the most famous one. But -surprise, surprise – in Kep (Cambodia) I found a huge mermaid statue on the shores of the Gulf of Thailand. Just to make sure I will not forget the beautiful piece of aquamarine I saw in the shop in Siem Reap.
The features of this wonderful gemstone
There is a variety of Beryl, with a color range from blue to greenish-blue that is called Aquamarine. The hues can be from very light to a much deeper shade of blue. Now the color blue is popular but in the 19th-century people loved the green aquamarine color more.
The hardness is between 7.5 and 8 on the scale of Moh and has hardly to no inclusions. That means that this gemstone is very transparent and clear in color.
In the name ‘aquamarine’ are two words hidden: aqua what means ‘water’ in Latin and marine, the Latin word for ‘sea’. The gemstone is much older but the name is used in 1677 for the first time. It is the state gem for Colorada/USA since 1971.
This blue gemstone is the birthstone for the month of March. And since ages and ages, it stands for youth and happiness. The Romans believed that this gem protected people at sea and that the gem could prevent illness.
It is found in many places on earth, but the major source is Minas Gerais in Brazil. Also in China, Kenya, Pakistan, the United States, Sri Lanka, Madagaskar and so much more countries, you can find it.
The largest piece ever found in the so-called ‘Dom Pedro aquamarine’. It is 10,363 carats and was found in Brazil in 1980. You can see it in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington.
Another large piece is the Roosevelt aquamarine, a present for Eleanor Roosevelt in 1936 (6,500 carats). Or the Hirsch aquamarine that was owned by King Louis XV and weighed 109,92 carats.
The largest-ever aquamarine weighed 243 pounds and came from Brazil. But it was cut in smaller stones, weighing more than 200,000 carats. Therefore it never made it to the museum, since it was not in one piece anymore.
A bit more about the color
The public loves this gem because of the color blue, and most of them prefer a darker aquamarine blue. But the actual color, I mean the color of the stone you find in the ground, rough, is a crystal type, transparent, bluish-green variety of the gemstone Beryl.
So you have this gem in a variety with blue body color and sea green highlights (the so-called aquamarine color). And the same stone but then with green body color and blue highlights, which we call to have a ‘seafoam’ color. You cannot say that one color is more beautiful than the other; it is a matter of taste. Although the greenish variety is not so well known.
Most of these gemstones come out of the ground having a blueish green color and most of them are treated with heat to get them to become bluer. That is the influence of the market.
Heat or not to heat, that is the question?
There are producers that can create synthetic Beryls in all kinds of colors. Like green emeralds, pink morganites, and blue or greenish aquamarines. Two manufacturers, Malossi and Tairus, are making a big business of growing synthetic aquamarines. They grow them using a hydrothermal growth technique. Very sophisticated!
The hydrothermal growth technique copies the natural formation of these gems, and after doing so you get nice synthetic gemstones, much faster than the natural way, which takes centuries, if not more.
How does this technique work? You need a sealed pressure-resistant container, of which the inner walls are coated with gold or platinum. Then you fill the container with pure water and the chemicals needed for the formation of aquamarines, like beryllium oxide, aluminum oxide, silica, a bit of iron, and some other elements.
Then you add a colorless naturally formed Beryl, which acts as a kind of seed for growing the crystals. You heat the container slowly until 371 to 593° C, which is about 700 to 1100° F and the pressure goes up. The molecules of all the added ingredients get very hot, break down and dissolve. An aquamarine is getting born.
There are quite a lot of risks when you want to heat this gemstone, since the results are not always, what you expect them to be. The stone can crack when you want to work with it, and then you know that the stone is not properly heated.
You heat the stone to get another color, but there is no guarantee that the color turns out the way you want it. Depending on the place or mine where the stone comes from you get more or less green in the sone after heating. If you don’t know exactly where the stone is mined, it is a wild guess, how the color turns out.
What to do?
All the aquamarines are being heated before they come to the market. The public only buys blue aquamarines and they get what they want. And the price for the heated and not-heated stones are the same. So if you find a stone with a green body color and blue highlights, which is cheap, pay attention. This can be a stone that could not be heated because the bad quality cannot be heated successfully.
Then you can purchase the so-called ‘white-aquamarines’. This is a trick too since they are colorless Beryls; which is a gemstone, but not aquamarine.
Say, you find a stunning piece of not heated rough stone, that is successfully heated and turns out with the right color blue. The color that the public loves to purchase. What then? There are so many other beautiful blue gemstones available, that it is not sure that the buyer chooses your blue stone. And competition is fierce in the blue stone market.
But if you have a really stunning unusual stone, an aquamarine that is natural, not heated, which is something special. You can sell them for a lot of money, not because of the color, but because of the features; natural and not heated.
Feeling magpie vibrations?
Aquamarine is rather expensive, especially the high-quality pieces. And when you want I can make you a custom order, just let me know. Also with a somewhat lesser quality gemstone, you feel the beauty, the peace, and the power of the mermaid.
If you love gemstones and gemstone jewelry you will love this PDF full of stories and information about the birthstones. Great to see what your birthstone is, but also perfect when you want a personal gift for your friend. Ask for this PDF. It’s free! Where can I send your free gift to?
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