The Aquamarine Throughout History
- In ancient Greece, sailors wore aquamarine amulets inscribed with the image of the sea god, Poseidon, riding in a chariot for protection. These amulets were thrown overboard during storms to appease the angry Gods.
- Aquamarines have been worn or carried through many centuries to protect those traveling by or over water.
- Aquamarine beads have been found buried with mummies in ancient Egyptian tombs.
- The ancient Romans fashioned goblets from aquamarine. Their physicians thought the aquamarine would promote good digestion.
- In the Bible, aquamarine is one of the foundation stones of the Heavenly City and the wheels on God's throne are said to have the appearance of "gleaming Beryl".
- Also in the Bible, in the book of Exodus it is said that the high priest of the 2nd temple of Israelites wore an aquamarine on each shoulder bearing the names of the 12 tribes.
- In Germany, thin slices of aquamarine were once used as eyeglass lenses.
- In 19th century fashion, aquamarines with a greenish tint were preferred to the blue ones which are sought after today.
- In 1971, the aquamarine was declared the official gemstone of the state of Colorado.
- One of the best-known aquamarines is the Dom Pedro - a Santa
Maria aquamarine from Minas Gerais, Brazil. As discovered, it weighed in at just over 57 lbs.
In 1992 this beautiful aquamarine was cut by gemstone artist Bernd Munsteiner
from Idar-Oberstein in Germany. It is a 14" long, 10,363 carat (about 5 lbs) obelisk-shaped gemstone with 8 starbursts carved into the sides. It is the by far largest cut aquamarine
in the world, being nearly 10 times the size of its nearest rival!
The Dom Pedro can be viewed on display at the Smithsonian beginning in December, 2012.
- The largest gem-quality aquamarine ever mined was found in 1910 in Minas
Gerais, Brazil (Marambaia region). The stone weighed 243 lbs,
measured 18" long and 15" in diameter and is said to have
been remarkably transparent.
- Non-gem quality aquamarines weighing in at a ton or more have been found.
- Many exquisite aquamarines can be found in the world's most notable museums. The Smithsonian in Washington DC is home to a 911 carat Brazilian aquamarine. The British museum of Natural History houses a flawless 879 carat aquamarine, and there is a 638 carat gemstone on display at the Los Angeles Country Museum Of Natural History.
- In 1935, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt received a 1,847 carat aquamarine as a gift from the Brazilian government. It is on display at Hyde Park - the Roosevelts' former New York estate, turned museum.