The colour of seawater has given this gemstone its name, Aquamarine, derived from the Latin for 'water of the sea'.
Stones or crystals that are blue or blue green are often given to be used as a calming influence. Aquamarine is a wonderful stone for meditation as it quietens the mind and helps to attain inner tranquility; it is well known for its ability for calming and soothing.
Aquamarine is a form of beryl that, at its best, it is a pastel sea blue but comes also as pale blue, light blue-green, or even light green. It can be clear or transluscent and it is the percentage of iron content that gives it the blue or green colour but almost all aquamarines on the market today have been heat treated to enhance the colour to a richer blue.
Aquamarine is commonly found in cavities, granite pegmatite, alluvial deposits of gravel and sometimes stream gravels. Crystals can be quite large, the best quality stones are from Brazil, where crystals weighing several kilos have been found but aquamarine crystals are also found in the Soviet Union, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nigeria.
In Ireland, Sheskinarone; a locality in Donegal, aquamarine crystals can be found though they are a very rare find. Exposure to the wave energy from the Atlantic Ocean, created platforms of different rock types including rocky shores, storm beaches and the unique sandy mochair grasslands. Since the ice age, the other agents of weathering and erosion have been active, wind and water have spread the debris over the plains and along the coasts. The poor drainage and heavy rainfall have, together, produced over 130 solution lakes and growths of peat which are so typical of the present landscape.
The beryl at this locality is extremely hard and this combined with its natural tendency to split along lines perpendicular to their length means that it is virtually impossible to extract complete aquamarine crystals. The crystal below, measuring only 20mm across was found in this locality.
A haven of quiet countryside highlighting issues affecting the natural world.