Aquamarine is the quintessential water gem — even the name derives from the Latin word for “sea water.” Somewhat surprisingly, it’s the same type of stone as emerald and morganite. A difference of a few ions is all that differentiates this beautiful blue crystal from its cousins.
Aquamarine is a type of beryl, just like goshenite, heliodor, and the emerald and morganite mentioned above.
Broadly, beryl is a beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate. What differentiates aquamarine from other varieties is the presence of ferrous iron (Fe2+). The presence of ferric iron (Fe3+) creates a yellow color. The presence of both results in a dark, almost sapphire blue aquamarine, commonly called maxixe.
Like many colorful, translucent gems, aquamarine isn’t lightfast. That means that the color may fade with exposure to sunlight. Interestingly, radiation can make the color return.
See also: Check out Aquamarine crystals here.
Aquamarine Healing Properties & Benefits
Since aquamarine is a water element stone, it’s frequently used for emotional cleansing and cooling. Like water eroding stones, it helps bring buried emotions to the surface where healing can take place. It exerts a balancing effect on anger, helping to calm short tempers. It’s also useful for helping users “flow” through major life transitions.
Physically, this stone is said to help the respiratory tract and lungs. It is also used to calm allergies and inflammatory conditions, soothe the glands of the throat, and relieve painful or itchy skin conditions. If a condition results in symptoms of heat and dryness, aquamarine is often used to help relieve it.
See also: Check out Aquamarine jewelry here.
Aquamarine Magical Properties
As a type of blue beryl, aquamarine is related to the stones said to be used for divination by the ancient Druids. This gives them a natural connection to divination magic. While the Druids used polished spheres of beryl, these aren’t commonly used by crystal scryers today. Instead, these stones can be stored with divination tools, or used as a focus for meditation.
Since it’s also strongly connected to the sea, it’s a good choice for elemental witches who work with water — specifically the ocean.
This oceanic connection also makes this gem a protective talisman for travelers, especially those who journey over water. It’s also good for protecting sailors, fishers, or other people whose jobs place them in danger from the sea.
Aquamarine is sometimes used as a love stone. While it’s strengths don’t really lie in attracting love, it’s said to be useful for ensuring fidelity and keeping love pure. This would be a perfect love stone for someone going on a long voyage by sea.
For a long time, it was believed that this crystal could change its color based on certain conditions. If it turns cloudy, a storm is on the way. If the owner is ill, has bad intentions, or suffers from unrequited desire, the stone was said to darken.
Its blue color puts aquamarine in touch with all aspects of blue color magic. These include healing, peace, and truth — all realms that are reflected in its purported ability to oceans calm and distant lovers true.
For those who work with chakras, aquamarine is often used to help open and balance the throat chakra, Visuddha. This is associated with communication, and imbalances in this area may produce stage fright, or a lack of confidence in expressing oneself. Wearing or placing an aquamarine near the throat may help restore the function of this important energy center.
Aquamarine History & Folklore
It was believed that the color of aquamarine changed according to the weather and mood of the wearer. A cloudy stone meant that a storm was coming. Changes in color during clear weather signaled shifts in the wearer’s mood.
According to one story, aquamarine belonged to the mermaids. Carrying it was a way to guarantee their protection when sailing.
The ancient Romans believed that aquamarine could cure laziness.
Both the ancient Greeks and Romans attributed the stone to Neptune. This is why it was said to have the power to calm storms at sea. Sailors would wear amulets of aquamarine engraved with Neptune’s image.
It’s believed that one of the divinatory tools used by the ancient Druids was a sphere made of polished beryl.
How to Cleanse Aquamarine
As a crystal with such an aquatic body of folklore, aquamarine prefers watery cleansing methods. (This is just as well, due to its unfortunate tendency to fade in sunlight.) That said, there are multiple methods that you can use to safely and effectively cleanse your crystal.
Some methods for cleansing Aquamarine include:
- Using your personal energy. This is the safest method for any stone, since it just entails you sending your personal energy in to clear away any unwanted vibrations.
- Bathing your aquamarine in water. Fresh, clean water from a natural source is preferable.
- Bathing it in an infusion of cleansing herbs.
- Setting the stone under moonlight, especially during the full moon.
- Fumigating it with cleansing herbs or incense.
- Burying it in sea salt.
- Playing music, chimes, bells, or singing bowls.
Getting Started With Aquamarine
Aquamarine is a wonderful stone for sea witches and others who live near water. As with any crystal, it’s best to choose an ethically-sourced stone from a reputable supplier. If you can, handle your crystal before purchasing it. That will give you an idea of what its energy feels like before you bring it home.
While different types of crystals have their own specific traditional uses and healing properties, these are chiefly guidelines.
Each stone is an individual, and some will feel very different from others. You may find that one aquamarine gives you a pleasant “buzzy” feeling, while another makes you feel sad, and another doesn’t feel like anything at all. See which specimen feels the most pleasant to hold, and choose that one.
Bear in mind that the process of mining, polishing, shipping, and selling can affect a crystal’s baseline energy. Handling it before purchase can give you a rough idea of how a crystal’s energy feels, but it will still need a thorough cleansing in order to make it ready for you to work with.
Most sources recommend cleansing aquamarine in fresh water, but you can choose any method (or combination of methods) from the list above. Experiment with your crystal, and see what feels best to you.
Once your stone is ready, you can work with it however you please. Try holding it in your non-dominant hand during meditation, and seeing what images, feelings, or other sensations it conjures up for you.
If you perform a lot of water magic, aquamarine is a wonderful stone to strengthen your connection to that element. If you’re a crystal worker, explore the ways you can use aquamarine to calm, soothe, and bring about healing.
Aquamarine beryl is a beautiful, intriguing stone with a deep connection to the sea. If you work with water, or just want to improve your connection to it, it’s an ideal crystal to incorporate into your practice.
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