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Vertical Scroll: History
Aquamarines are found in many places throughout history.  The word aquamarine is derived from Latin and translates to "sea water," more than likely for the gems resemblance to the color of the ocean.  It was believed to keep seafarers and sailors safe while out traveling.  During the Roman times the aquamarine was believed to have medicinal powers.  It was believed that the aquamarine  could cure aliments of a persons jaw, throat, stomach, liver and even help with sea sickness.  Then during the Middle Ages it was thought that the aquamarine was an antidote for poison. Aquamarine beads have been found in the tombs of Egyptians where they were used as a tribute to the Gods of the Nether world to ensure a safe passage for the departed.  Aquamarines have been used by fortune tellers and soothsayers who use it to answer to tell fortunes and answer questions about the future.  In Germany, aquamarine was used as glasses to correct shortsightedness and the word for glasses in German, "brille" is derived from beryl.
Text Box: Aquamarines
Text Box: What is aquamarine?
An aquamarine is often thought of as a simple gemstone.  But what exactly is an aquamarine?  An aquamarine is a form of the mineral beryl.  Beryl is made up of beryllium, aluminum, silicon and oxygen. Found in the veins of rocks, aquamarine is a six-sided crystal that is colored by trace amounts of iron which have found their way into the structure of the crystal.  Hiding safely in the rock, the aquamarine crystal are kept safe from weathering and any other shock that the crystal may otherwise encounter.  But this crystal is no softy, it ranks between a 7.5 and a 8.1 on the scale of hardness.  When found, the color of the gem may be more of a yellow color, so it is often heat treated in order to obtain the more blue-green color.
 Picture by Robert Weller, Cochise College
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