Thursday, March 21, 2013
March's Birthstone, Aquamarine: Folklore and Healing Qualities
The Sumerians, Egyptians, and Hebrews also admired and valued aquamarine greatly. It was a symbol of happiness and everlasting youth. In the Christian era, the aquamarine was identified with the Apostle, St. Thomas, because it 'imitated the sea and the air' and the Saint 'made long journeys by sea, even to India, to preach salvation.' Identifying a certain jewel with one of the twelve apostles was a common practice at that time. William Langland’s 'The Vision Concerning Piers and the Plowman,' from 1377, mentions the aquamarine as an antidote for poison. This antidote was widely known throughout Europe. Because there was a wide amount of poisonings amongst royalty at the time, the gem was in popular demand just for that purpose. It was not necessary to pulverize the stone, as it was/ is with other gemstones. Simply wearing the stone as a pendant or in a ring was just as effective.
According to folklore, aquamarine would bring victory in battles and legal disputes. The gem was also credited with curing belching and yawning and was considered especially effective for curing ailments of the jaws, throat, stomach, liver and toothaches. Aquamarine was also used in ceremonies in the belief that it would bring rain when needed, or visit drought upon their enemies. When worn as an amulet, it was believed to bring relief of pain and to make the wearer friendlier, quicken the intellect and cure laziness. The ancient philosopher Pliny paid tribute to this gem of vitality, stating, 'the lovely aquamarine, which seems to have come from some mermaid’s treasure house, in the depths of a summer sea, has charms not to be denied.' ” (1)
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