Aquamarine belongs to the beryl gemstone family, and has a more evenly distributed color than its relative the emerald. Gem-quality aquamarine is usually free of inclusions and possesses a superior brilliance, while bead-grade aquamarine tends to have many interesting inclusions and numerous opaque areas. The more intense the color of this stone, the higher its value. Aquamarine is a hard gemstone, which makes it an excellent choice for jewelry that will be worn frequently. However, be sure to store aquamarine beads in a dark place, as they often become paler if left out in the sun. Also be aware that far too much blue topaz (which is much cheaper) has been sold as aquamarine (but not here!).
The legendary origin of aquamarine is that it was found in mermaids' treasure chests, making it renowned as a lucky stone for sailors. Its name is derived from the Latin words for "water" and "sea." Consequently, aquamarine is said to protect from perils of the sea, including seasickness. It also is said to heal nerve pain, glandular problems, toothaches and disorders of the neck, jaw and throat. Sources of aquamarine include Brazil, India, Russia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Afghanistan and Pakistan. See Also: