Monday, March 1, 2010

March's Birthstone is Aquamarine

The name aquamarine was derived by the Romans, "aqua" meaning water and "mare" meaning sea, because it looked like sea water. They were considered sacred to Neptune, god of the sea. This association with and safe voyages as well as protection against perils and monsters of the sea. Its first documented use was by the Greeks between 480-300 BC. They wore aquamarine amulets engraved with the god Poseidon on a chariot.

The aquamarine was believed to possess medicinal and healing powers, curing ailments of the stomach, liver, jaws and throat. During the Middle Ages, it was believed to be an effective antidote against poison. Aquamarines were thought to be the source of power for soothsayers, who called it the "magic mirror", and used it for telling fortunes and answering questions about the future. It is said that Emperor Nero used it as an eyeglass 2,000 years ago, and much later, aquamarines were used as glasses in Germany to correct shortsightedness. In fact, the German name for eyeglasses today is "brille", derived from the mineral beryl.

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