One of the hardest gemstones in existence is also one of the most cherished. Aquamarine, whose name comes from “sea” or “water”, is beloved for its dynamic blue color range and its durability. The color is derived from iron impurities that are found in the structure of the beryl. Sometimes, Aquamarine has chatoyancy. Beads that contain these features are highly sought after. Aquamarine is very hard. Beads that are made of it last lifetimes without ever scratching or chipping. However, unless they are kept well out of direct sunlight, the color will fade.
Aquamarine is found in Russia, Pakistan, Mozambique, Madagascar, India, Brazil and Afghanistan, with some of the largest manufacturers of Aquamarine beads in India. Aquamarine beads are often given to people who make their living on the high seas or who spend a lot of time on cruises because it is believed to be a gemstone that is bestowed with luck, and that can help prevent seasickness and storms at sea. Aquamarine has been used in Chinese medicine to treat toothaches, to heal nerve pain, for disorders of the throat, jaw and neck and for glandular problems.
Jewelry that contains Aquamarine gemstones is customarily given on a couple’s 19th wedding anniversary. Additionally, it is known as the Pisces birthstone, that is, the birthstone for people born in the month of March. Aquamarine is said to symbolize friendship, courage or faithfulness, and is often given as gifts that represent these things. Aquamarine beads can be clear, translucent or transparent.