I’m lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of the world. The Orkney islands have miles of dramatic skies, rugged landscapes and is surrounded by ever-changing seas. In fair weather the waters can be flat calm and like a mirror. In strong winds it produces mighty waves which spray over the cliff tops and cause disruption as boats between islands and mainland Scotland are canceled. Either way, the seas surrounding Orkney are beautiful and captivating.
A touching and symbolic connection to this is the birthstone of March, Aquamarine, which derives its name from the Latin ‘aqua marina’ meaning sea water.
Like the changing colours of the sea, aquamarine can vary hugely in hues and tones, ranging from pale blue to rich greens and teals, although its common colour is pale blue. Aquamarine can even be heat treated to change their clarity to a light blue adding to the value of the gem through the colour improvement.
The semi-precious Aquamarine is mined mainly in Brazil, but it can also be found in many other countries including Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Russia, Nigeria and Kenya. It is closely related to the emerald and is from the beryl family.
For 100s of years, the Aquamarine is believed to calm and soothe the nerves, and is said to aid meditation and reduce anxiety-but that’s not all. Wearers of aquamarine in Roman times believed it could cure a multitude of ills ranging from liver, throat and stomach problems, and to assist in problematic water retention.
At times it has also been believed to make the wearer more courageous, and have increased happiness, youthfulness , wisdom and intelligence; even guarding against gossip. It is believed to be able to ward off sea sickness which could be pretty handy when on a boat in Orkney in choppy waters. That said, I’ve never seen an Orkney fisherman sporting a piece of aquamarine jewellery for such troubles……yet!